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There is a directory on my (solid-state) drive on OS X (Lion) that makes the computer stall when I try to delete or otherwise access it (no processor or drive activity). What can be attempted so as to delete the directory?

Here is what I tried:

  • Simply putting the directory in the trash and emptying the trash makes the Finder stall.
  • Using rm -Rf en.lproj in a Terminal also stalls (en.lproj is the directory in question; it comes from Microsoft Office 2008); the command cannot be interrupted with Ctrl-C, Ctrl-D or Ctrl-Z.
  • Repairing the disk permissions and verifying the disk with Disk Utility does not help with the above two approaches.

Any other idea would be much appreciated!

PS: I guess that the directory contains files, but I can't see them either the Finder or with Unix commands (ls en.lproj stalls too).

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OK, there was a more robust way to try to remove this file, and it worked: I booted the computer in single-user mode (Apple-S), checked the disk with /sbin/fsck -fy and mounted it as a writable disk with /sbin/mount -uw / (as indicated in the messages printed in single-user mode). Removing the directory with rm -R (as usual) worked.

I would guess that for some reason, the files in the directory that could not be otherwise removed were (unduly) used by some program, which made the computer stall…

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