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Can't delete files in Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8). Help?

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Last response: in Mac Os X
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July 31, 2012 5:28:28 PM

In my trash, I have an incomplete (not fully downloaded) ISO file and an unknown file that originated in Windows 7, using BootCamp. The trash can be emptied, but these two files never disappear. Also, when I try dragging them to another location (like my desktop), I get an error saying: "The operation can’t be completed because it isn’t supported".

I have tried the "sudo rm -rf" command in Terminal, repairing my permissions in Disk Utility, Force Empty Trash, and 3rd-party utilities like Trash X (link: http://www.northernsoftworks.com/trashx.html), Trash It! (link: http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/8214/trash-it!/) and Cocktail (link: http://www.maintain.se/cocktail/). None of it has worked.

Also, when I tried to empty my trash using the Secure Empty Trash option, it gave my this error for both files: "The Finder can’t complete the operation because some data in “<filename>” can’t be read or written. (Error code -36)"

Could somebody please help me?
July 31, 2012 6:12:40 PM

Sounds like both files are windows based files that OSX is not recognizing. I would boot into windows and navigate to the trash folder and delete them through windows, or boot from a bootable linux disc and do the same.
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July 31, 2012 6:15:32 PM

daship said:
Sounds like both files are windows based files that OSX is not recognizing. I would boot into windows and navigate to the trash folder and delete them through windows, or boot from a bootable linux disc and do the same.


I agree, try using BootCamp windows 7 and see if you can't manipulate the files from there. You cannot delete them because something has a handle on them.
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July 31, 2012 6:16:06 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
I agree, try using BootCamp windows 7 and see if you can't manipulate the files from there. You cannot delete them because something has a handle on them.

Yes, they are Windows files but how do I access my Mac trash through Windows?
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July 31, 2012 6:21:19 PM

With a program like transmac.
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July 31, 2012 6:22:36 PM

That I cant answer because I do not know how windows interfaces with a Mac. I cant even imagine how it was able to get to your mac trash and not the windows trash unless it does drive sharing. Are you able to restore to a point right before you moved the files?
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July 31, 2012 6:27:17 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
That I cant answer because I do not know how windows interfaces with a Mac. I cant even imagine how it was able to get to your mac trash and not the windows trash unless it does drive sharing. Are you able to restore to a point right before you moved the files?

Well, I use Paragon's NTFS for Mac. I went into Windows 7 (my Windows HD) > Users > me > Downloads, and then I deleted two files that were there.
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July 31, 2012 6:46:08 PM

Is it in your Mac trash or Windows trash?
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July 31, 2012 6:48:59 PM

Let's keep the discussion clean. If there isn't a viable response or value-added information, simply hit the back button and don't post.

This warning applies to everyone.
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July 31, 2012 6:50:02 PM

daship said:
Is it in your Mac trash or Windows trash?

Mac trash.
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July 31, 2012 6:51:15 PM

Navigate to the mac trash from windows or linux "ubuntu dvd" and delete them that way.
Deleteing stuff on your windows drive will not delete anything out of your mac trash.
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July 31, 2012 6:53:55 PM

daship said:
Navigate to the mac trash from windows or linux "ubuntu dvd" and delete them that way.
Deleteing stuff on your windows drive will not delete anything out of your mac trash.

How can I access it?
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July 31, 2012 7:16:03 PM

Lol. The moderator was warning about using the expression "Mac Trash" "Widows Trash" instead of Recyble Bin.
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July 31, 2012 7:26:48 PM

leandrodafontoura said:
Lol. The moderator was warning about using the expression "Mac Trash" "Widows Trash" instead of Recyble Bin.

Haha, that's funny.
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July 31, 2012 7:41:07 PM

The build of Paragon has to be version 10, anything prior won't work correctly with Mountain Lion.

Have you tried running Verify Disk (not verify permissions), if not try it and then use something like Onyx or Maintidget to run OS X maintenance scripts (or just leave it on over night); trying to delete the files using another OS (Linux or Windows) runs the risk of making things worse.
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July 31, 2012 8:10:40 PM

is there an option to 'restore' the item in the mac trash? I know in windows trash i can right click > restore and it puts it back to where it was.
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July 31, 2012 9:10:01 PM

DrZach21 said:


Could somebody please help me?


Try 'secure delete'.
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August 1, 2012 9:28:52 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
is there an option to 'restore' the item in the mac trash? I know in windows trash i can right click > restore and it puts it back to where it was.

Yes, but when I do, it says: "The operation can’t be completed because it isn’t supported."
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Best solution

August 24, 2012 11:46:22 PM

DrZach21 said:
Yes, but when I do, it says: "The operation can’t be completed because it isn’t supported."


I had the same problems.
But I worked out using a BootCamp partition with Win7 x64.

When I encounter this problem in my Mac, I simple reboot in Windows.
The deleted files aren't in a "trash bin" or anything else.

Just let Windows shows all the hidden files.
In the top of the list of the files/folder of the drive, you'll see a folder names .Trashes.
Go inside and you'll see another folder named 501.
This folder contains all the deleted files from the Mac of that drive.
Just delete all the files and you are done.

I tried this in Lion and Mountain Lion.

Hope this will also works for you.
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August 26, 2012 6:22:42 AM

You don't need to bootcamp into linux; boot into single user mode (⌘S during startup) to startup in just the unix kernal as root. No 'Mac,' no OSX will be running.
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August 27, 2012 4:48:18 PM

cranpipe said:
I had the same problems.
But I worked out using a BootCamp partition with Win7 x64.

When I encounter this problem in my Mac, I simple reboot in Windows.
The deleted files aren't in a "trash bin" or anything else.

Just let Windows shows all the hidden files.
In the top of the list of the files/folder of the drive, you'll see a folder names .Trashes.
Go inside and you'll see another folder named 501.
This folder contains all the deleted files from the Mac of that drive.
Just delete all the files and you are done.

I tried this in Lion and Mountain Lion.

Hope this will also works for you.

Thank you so much, it worked. :) 
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August 27, 2012 4:49:51 PM

Best answer selected by DrZach21.
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