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Cannot empty trash, error -36

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Member Since: Jan 10, 2011
Posts: 1
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I have several files (from game saves of the game Minecraft) that got corrupted somehow and were freezing the game. Every time the folder containing these files is selected the computer gives me the spinning beach ball of death (colored ball that spins for what seems an eternity during which the computer will not accept any more input).

When I try trashing these files (entire save folder) it gives me a message stating "The Finder can't complete the operation because some data in "name of file here" can't be read or written. (Error code -36)"

I have tried EVERYTHING with no success. The beach ball of death spins away for several minutes and then... ERROR -36!!! I tried:
- option + empty trash
- empty trash function in Terminal
- downloaded and tried "Trash It!"
- downloaded Cocktail and tried force empty trash
- tried placing corrupted files in a random folder on desktop and tried restoring with Time Machine to a version of said folder that didn't have the files
- tried compressing said folder (so that I could try deleting its compressed version instead) but the compression didn't work
- banging my head against the wall (this REALLY didn't help)

If anyone has any more suggestions, please, I beg for your help.

Many thanks.

P.S. for now the files and folders are tucked away in several folders and subfolders so that nobody clicks on them accidentally (no more beach ball of death).
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Member Since: Dec 23, 2010
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Mac Specs: MacBook Unibody 13" 150 GB HDD

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Ok, what I think you could do is get an app called AppZapper (it has a free trial) drag the Minecraft application into AppZapper and press "Zap". This will delete everything that came with the game. Then go to Minecraft and re-download the game.


If you want to save a world you have been playing on go to, Finder > User > Library > Application Support > minecraft > Saves. Select your saves that you want to keep (not the corrupted saves) and drag it to your desktop. Once you have re-downloaded Minecraft go to the same folders but instead of taking out the save, put it in the save folder.
Good luck!
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Try this, a different scenario but the error is the same so give it a try to satisfy my curiosity.

#1 Launch Terminal (Applications > Utilities) and type the following command, making sure to include a space at the end:

#2 Select the folder on your Mac that is giving you trouble and drag it right to the Terminal window. (In your case the entire Saves folder) A green cursor with a + symbol should appear before you release the mouse.
The path to that folder should have automatically appeared at the end of the Terminal command. For example, it might look like:
dot_clean /Users/UserName/Desktop/Test_Folder

#3 Press Enter/Return to run the command. It will appear as if nothing happened, but try copying that folder to a MS-DOS volume now (In your case the Trash folder). Finder should magically allow it to be moved with no problem!
Repeat the entire process as needed for other folders that won’t copy or move.

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