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Undeletable trash on external hard-drive (MAC)


Sinovera's Avatar
Sinovera Sinovera is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
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16-May-2012, 04:22 PM #1
Undeletable trash on external hard-drive (MAC)
Hi there,
I'm experiencing a strange problem on my external HD. I'm a MacBook Pro user but I also have Windows Vista on BootCamp. The external is WD Elements.

When I plug in my external while on my Mac partition, the trash can automatically fills up with old video files that I put in there a long time ago. When I press "Empty" it makes the usual trash crumpling sound then closes the Trash window as normal but the same files are still in there. If I attempt to take the file out of Trash (normally you do this by right clicking and pressing "Put Back" but that option is NOT there) it begins to *copy* the file to the destination (so the file is still in the Trash even if I "move" it out). The copied file is fine, I can open it, watch it, and delete it. Once I eject the HD, the files disappear from the Trash. When I plug it in while on my Windows Vista partition, there is nothing in the trash.

I've tried using Terminal commands to force it to delete the files in the Trash but the files persist. Any suggestions?

Thank you.

Extra info:
-If I put a new file from my external to the Trash can and press empty, it deletes only the new files.
-My Mac partition is able to read and write to the external just fine, as is my windows partition.
-The files that are now stuck in Trash were originally put there from my Mac partition.
-The files are not locked, and I have permission to read and write (it says so in the "Get info" panel).

Last edited by Sinovera; 16-May-2012 at 04:51 PM..
mister2's Avatar
mister2 mister2 is offline
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Location: WA State
Experience: Intermediate
19-May-2012, 12:55 PM #2
I have had the same problem.

I don't remember how I eventually fixed it. I think I copied all of my files off and formatted the drive.

I will try to think a little more about what I did and see if I can recreate a solution. I know I spent about 3 evening on search engines and downing large cups of joe in utter frustration though.
Headrush's Avatar
Member with 2,473 posts.
Join Date: Feb 2005
Experience: Advanced
19-May-2012, 04:24 PM #3
What format is the external HD?

Have you tried repair disk and/or repair permissions on the external partition using /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility?
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