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Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3.2: Kernel panics when emptying the trash

Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3.2: Kernel panics when emptying the trash

Jonathan Greenberg reports a behavior that seems to be more prevalent in Mac OS X 10.3.2, and for which a host of traditional workarounds, including repairing permissions, deleting system caches, and even re-installing the system have proved unsuccessful for a number of readers; the inability to delete items in the trash without experiencing a kernel panic"

"When I go to delete some partially downloaded bittorrent files (usually pretty big, > 600mb), upon emptying the trash, I get (a kernel panic) Whatever is causing this is repeatable, since I can reboot, even fix the drive and permissions and upon trying to empty the trash again, I get the same crash. [...] I still have no idea how to get rid of this huge file (900mb) -- I will be trying to boot off a 2nd HD and deleting it from there."


  • Using the Terminal, you can navigate to the Trash via the command cd .Trash and then force a directory delete with the "sudo rm" command. In Jonathan's case, however, this method worked once, and proved unsuccessful thereafter.
  • If the Terminal commands don't work, and your Mac is OS 9-bootable, you can try booting into that environment and emptying the trash. This method has worked for a few readers.

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