Unable to empty trash due to permissions issues

Discussion in 'macOS' started by blueeye, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. blueeye macrumors member

    blueeye

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #1
    Basically I was backing up my friends Windoze PC using my external HD to transfer files to a different computer (he just got an iMac). Unfortunately, while I no longer need the files on my HD, I can't get rid of them completely. Many files ("My Documents", "Application Data") are locked and although I know how to deal with this from a linux perspective, I don't know how to do it from a Mac perspective.
    I've tried cmd-shift-option-delete, I've tried pressing the option key while clicking on "Empty Trash". I've also followed the instructions on the Apple website (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106237). I'm not really sure where to go from here.
    I'm running Leopard (10.5.1) on a MacBook Pro 2.33GHz if that's relevant.

    Thanks in anticipation.
     
  2. Mlobo01 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Weehawken New Jersey
    #2
    Try this

    Boot into single user mode, command+s, when its finished loading, type fsck -yf then enter, it will fix part of it, once it done boot into your install disc and under Disc Utilities fix permissions then restart, when you log into your account then empty trash. if no install disc then just try normal boot. I had this same problem.
     
  3. Mlobo01 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Weehawken New Jersey
    #3
    for next time...

    try moving files by pressing on the command key as you click-drag files, it wont copy over it will just relocate them, same thing from different accounts from your own machine, log into super-user then command click-drag between accounts, no more copying or deleting extra files.
    what is super-user? try the Apple Support site it will explain in detail.
     
  4. awmazz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    #4
    You should be able to just highlight the troublesome files and 'get info' and manually unlock/change permissions for each in their respective info windows.
     
  5. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #5
    Go into Activity Monitor and kill any unnecessary processes. Sometimes a program that's open grabs onto files and won't let you delete.
     
  6. blueeye thread starter macrumors member

    blueeye

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #6
    Sorry, it didn't work... I still couldn't delete... It's because the files are locked, but I'm unable to change the privileges or unlock them... In Linux I would just open up a root window and permanently delete them but I don't know how to do that in OSX
     
  7. Mlobo01 macrumors 6502

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    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Weehawken New Jersey
    #7
  8. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #8
    You'll need to be logged in as a user with admin privileges, and you'll have to move the files out of the trash and into a directory (i.e., back to the hard drive).

    From there, open a terminal window (Applications folder -> utilities, or just do a spotlight search for "terminal"), chdir into the directory where the files are at and then type:

    Code:
    sudo rm [filename]
    You'll be asked for your account password; enter it and it should delete the files for you (without moving to the trash).
     
  9. blueeye thread starter macrumors member

    blueeye

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #9
    It still won't work... I've now tried logging in as root, I still haven't got sufficient permissions... I tried using sudo rm -Rfi /dir/ which didn't work... (forced removal, interactive): still insufficient permissions, even with sudo...
    What am I supposed to do?
     
  10. blueeye thread starter macrumors member

    blueeye

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #11
    that doesn't work either.
    The issue seems to be that the root user/super user of my computer (me using sudo) does not have the permissions to delete these files... which is weird to say the least... surely a super-user would be able to, no?
    Any more solutions? Anyone?
     
  11. kkat69 macrumors 68020

    kkat69

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #12
    Just glanced a bit at the posts and didn't notice this thought.

    I've had this issue and what I did was (damn the terminal window!) move the suspect files out of the trash can. Did "Get Info" on each one, uncheck the Locked box. Re-deleted them, then empty trash. Works pretty much every time. No sudo this and sudo that.

    This probably won't work for files associated with processes but if that were the case wouldn't those files not allow deleting?

    The "Locked" box is in the upper middle.

    Of course proper admin/etc privi's would be needed to change this file attribute.
     
  12. Mlobo01 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Weehawken New Jersey
    #13
    I've got one more...

    A fix for strange unremovable characters in the trash
    Thu, Dec 27 '07 at 7:30AM PST • Submitted by heymike
    I had a problem with strange characters not deleting in the Trash. They looked like asian characters, or zeros and slashes, something similar to: //00]|||00. Emptying the Trash deleted the files, but not the characters. If I did a Get Info, they would disappear, but come back if I deleted more files. I found out that it was caused by a corrupt file on a FAT32 Boot Camp partition in the C:.Trashes501 folder, and was causing this issue.
    I repaired the problem by booting into Windows using Parallels, and running the Check Disk Utility for Windows hard drives. (Open My Computer, right click on the 'C' drive, and click properties. Click on the tools tab, then Check Now. Make sure that there is a check in the box that says "Automatically fix file system errors." Then you will be prompted to reboot. Check Disk will run on reboot.)
    Check Disk found the error in the C:.Trashes501 folder and repaired it. Now my Trash in OS X does not have the strange characters when I empty it. I haven't tried it, but I would assume that if I just booted into Windows (through Bootcamp, or Parallels or VMWare Fusion) and deleted the .Trashes folder on the "C" drive, that it would work also. If you have an external drive formatted in FAT 32, you can plug it into a Windows machine, and you should be able to do the same thing.
    http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20071218191518177
     
  13. blueeye thread starter macrumors member

    blueeye

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #14
    I've already tried that; it just re-locks itself when I click... I don't even have access (as root or admin) to the permissions on those files...

    Annoyingly VMWare won't detect the external HDD... even though I told it to... I might just go and plug it into my linux box... This is the one thing in which I've ever seen a mac beaten (well; Crysis and this problem)... quel shame?
     
  14. rols macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    #16
    What?? That's just not possible, root can delete anything (unless something else is using it at the time I suppose).

    When you do sudo rm -rf /dir .. what error message do you get?
     
  15. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #17
    This seems too easy but have you tried Finder > Secure Empty Trash??

    I've yet to have that fail on me.
     
  16. Mlobo01 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Weehawken New Jersey
    #18
    when...

    if you attempt to take those files out of the trash does it make a copy onto the desktop?
     
  17. blueeye thread starter macrumors member

    blueeye

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #19
    basically if I try and root delete I get permissions errors (strange, I know). If I'm super user I get permissions errors... I can't delete the files full stop... I've tried secure empty trash, tried option-click etc... Yes, if I drag them out of the trash I get a copy on my desktop... no sudo commands work ("operation not permitted")... I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do with them... maybe it's because windoze systems don't allow root to delete everything and so my super-user can't delete ms files.
     

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