Trashing locked items on external hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Junglefrog, May 4, 2008.

  1. Junglefrog macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2007
    I have an issue with trashing the items on my external hard drives.... I initially had these on a windows machine and for some reason some of the folders on the hard drives are locked. I can throw them away but then I cannot seem to empty the trash can. I've tried it with the option-delete which should - theoretically - remove locked items, but it doesn't work. I tried the secure empty trash but also no luck.
    I can't think of any other way to do this. I also cannot unlock the folders prior to deleting them as I keep getting the message that I do not have sufficient authority to do this action.. :(
    I am setup as administrator and am the only one using this machine. I have a MacPro with Leopard...

    I hpe someone has the answer to this annoying problem!
  2. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    You could try this... create new folders with the same name as the ones you want to delete, then copy them onto your hard drive or trash, wherever the locked ones currently are. Hopefully that should delete the troublesome folders and overwrite them with the new empty ones, which you can then remove without any problems.
  3. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    Have you tried giving yourself the authority to trash the files? Get Info on these files and change the ownership to you.
  4. Junglefrog thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2007
    That doesn't work as it just adds the additional folder to the trash without overwriting the previous one... :( Just tried it twice... Apparently the 'overwrite' functionality doesn't work in the trash can?
  5. Junglefrog thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2007
    I already have read and write acces to the files so it should work but it doesn't... Once they are locked I cannot remove the lock. In the menu you see the unlock item-option which simply does not work on those files! I can't think of any other way to give myself authority to remove the files...
  6. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    Try plugging the hard drive into a PC running Windows and then delete the files.
  7. bor99e macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2008
    locked files in trash

    yeah, im having the same prob.
    Just got rid of my PC, so can i get rid of it on my mac?
    Not hard to find a PC but does this work?
    Man, i hate seeing my PC user mates for help :mad:
  8. merl1n macrumors 65816


    Mar 30, 2008
    New Jersey, USA
    You can delete these from the trash by using the Terminal application (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal)

    sudo rm -rf /Volumes/yourdiskname/.Trashes/501/* (hit a return key)

    That should empty your trash, even for locked files.

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