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Remove locked items from trash with the option key System
I don't remember seeing this before 10.2, but it's back!! While holding down the Option key and selecting "Empty trash," you can delete all items in the trash, including those pesky locked items. Oh yah!

[Editor's note: And if you haven't noticed, there are keyboard shortcuts for both the regular empty trash (shift-command-delete) and the super empty trash (add the option key to the mix!).]
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Remove locked items from trash with the option key | 8 comments | Create New Account
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NOT QUITE............
Authored by: Graham Haultain on Sep 05, '02 07:49:00PM

I have the folder from hell residing in my (ALPHA X HDD) Trash can. It is called "Alpha deleted" ( and it seems to lie on the desktop on my second partition on another HDD) and contains (4 spaces) HFS + Private Data). I am told I have not got sufficient privileges to get rid of it, and it is locked so it is a root file (System and Wheel). It will be there for ever as a recent re-install did not remove this link. Drat!



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Re:NOT QUITE............
Authored by: robarmo on Sep 05, '02 09:23:05PM

Whenever I`ve had problems of this nature, I simply boot into OS 9 proper,
and rename. move, or delete the stubborn file(s) as required. Then reboot to OS X.
Its worked everytime.



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NOT QUITE............
Authored by: Thomas Thaler on Mar 04, '03 02:07:59PM
Dear Graham,

I hade the same problem just a few days ago and if you still stuck with it then I have a sollution that solved the problem for my. Start the terminal and login as admin, if you aren't it allready. From within the terminal do the following steps.
[localhost:/] admin%  sudo shutdown now
--> Quit Aqua and go in the underground
%  su
%  cd /Volumes/your drive/your folder/
--> Change directory to the folder where your undeletable file/folder is nested in.
%  chflags nouchg,noschg Your_undeletabel_file/folder
%  rm -r Your_undeletabel_file/folder
--> Because your file/folder contains special characters at the beginning of the file/folder name, just hit TAB once to let the system choose the mestyrious object.
(This works only if there are NO other files/folders next to Your_undeletabel_file/folder.)
%  exit
%  reboot
The above procedure can alos be done if you boot into sinlge user mode after you did a fsck -y Hope that helps you and anyone else and sorry for my bad english.

Greetings from Switzerland
Thomas Thaler

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NOT QUITE............
Authored by: Graham Haultain on Sep 05, '02 07:49:20PM

I have the folder from hell residing in my (ALPHA X HDD) Trash can. It is called "Alpha deleted" ( and it seems to lie on the desktop on my second partition on another HDD) and contains (4 spaces) HFS + Private Data). I am told I have not got sufficient privileges to get rid of it, and it is locked so it is a root file (System and Wheel). It will be there for ever as a recent re-install did not remove this link. Drat!



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NOT QUITE............
Authored by: Miga on Sep 05, '02 09:26:27PM

It is a so called nice feature. It allows you to retrieve the settings of a deleted user if you want to.

But, as you probably don't want, you can get rid of it in the terminal.

Open the terminal, type sudo -s, then type enter, enter your admin password at the prompt, then type enter, then type rm -rf plus one space and drag and drop the folder from the trash to the terminal, then type enter.

The folder is deleted. Then type exit plus enter to exit from root. Quit terminal.

Use this technique with caution as it works from anywhere but without putting the deleted files in the trash. Hence you cannot recover them.



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NOT QUITE............
Authored by: FrenchByte on Mar 05, '03 09:22:33AM

Worked perfectly for me.
Thanks for the hint



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Don't delete that folder!
Authored by: carsten on Mar 04, '03 11:26:20PM

Note that one should normally not delete the folder "HFS+ Private Data", it contains directory information about multi-linked/hard-linked files (and possibly other directory structures too) in OS X. Even a fresh install of OS X has a few hard-linked files in /bin for example. (I wish Apple would provide at least SOME documentation for such low-level aspects of the system!)

As far as I know this folder is not accessible unless you reboot into OS 9 proper, and even then it's an invisible folder in the top-level of the hard drive.

So as a note of caution to anyone else who may have seen this odd folder name and is considering deleting it... if you are using OS X do not move or delete this folder.



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Even Better With Mouse
Authored by: ClairDC on Sep 06, '02 07:45:53AM

If you have a locked item in the trash and you use the mouse contextual menu (right click on 2 button, "Control Click" or just "Click and hold" on the 1 button) the finder empties the trash with locked items inside and of course no dialoge box.



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