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Empty Trash Problem Big Time

by johnlh / January 12, 2010 2:43 AM PST

I have a MacBook Pro running 10.5.8 and have created a giant problem for myself.

I opened Time Machine and decided to empty some of the many backups and keep on the latest. I dragged these to the trash. I then attempted to empty the Trash using the usually Finder Button. It so happens there are items in that Time Machine Backups that cannot be emptied. The trash begins to load all the backups which is enormous and once it begins to empty it stops and advises me I cannot delete boot startup information and stops. I then tried to use the application Trash It and it stops at about the half way point. I did a restart and am left with a trash still full of undelete startup items. I have a bootable external backup HD at home which hopefully I can run and cure this but am not sure that will even work. Any of you smart guys have any suggestions.

Can one never empty any of the backups in the Time Machine application. I would guess it is only my first one that had the complete backup and items I cannot delete. If I drag the items out of the trash they begin to copy to the finder. I stopped that. I am now thinking of dragging the items out into a folder. Clearly I did not know enough about Time Machine to attempt this.

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Empty Trash Problem Big Time
by johnlh / January 12, 2010 3:38 AM PST

I have finally resolved this problem but not without a lot of fright. I would advise be very careful if you decided to empty anything out of Time Machine into the trash. As I stated I placed about 20 backups from Time Machine into the trash. When I went to empty it would start the count down to all the things that would be emptied which initself was enormous and took some time. Then as it begin to empty it would stop and a message would appear you cannot empty trash because it has boot drive in it. I tried Trash it which only compounded the problem as it presented an empty window that went half way through its progress and then froze. Restart really went slow but still was left with same problem.

My cure was when I got the message "cannot empty" I just kept on trying it for time after time until it finally emptied the trash. I could visualize myself reinstalling everything as the one backup that I left in Time Machine was believe it or not "an alias".

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Time Machine Backup,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / January 12, 2010 8:08 AM PST

is best left alone.

It will empty itself when it needs to.

Pleased you got it fixed.


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