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  • Deleting files from ext. HDD in Mint

    Posted on Slowpoke47 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems Linux – all distros Deleting files from ext. HDD in Mint

    Topic Resolution: Resolved

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    This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Slowpoke47 4 weeks, 1 day ago.

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    • #2086262 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      Mint reinstall on desktop completed, last to-do is reinstall of Veeam backup app.  Wanting to start afresh vis-a-vis the backup target, a 1tb ext. disk.  This disk was previously used for the same purpose in the original Mint install and is set up to accept the backups, with several weekly backups  currently on it.

      Since I need a complete divorce from the original Mint install, I want to format this HDD, but cannot delete these (possibly corrupted) backup files via GUI due to lack of permission.  I know I can go into the Win7 volume and do that easily, but I should learn how to do this in Mint- via sudo in Terminal?

      I think the safest option is to wipe the disk completely and do the full setup from scratch.

    • #2086545 Reply


      When you do the install, one of the choices is to wipe the drive and install Mint. Therefore, you don’t need to wipe the drive before doing the install; you can do it as part of the install.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2086579 Reply

        AskWoody Plus

        Thank you.  The drive to be wiped is the backup HDD, not the internal disk loaded with the OS.  See my reply to Ascaris.

        When I re-installed Mint, I opted to allow the installer to replace the old instance with the new, so I know how that works.

    • #2086549 Reply


      MrJimPhelps is correct, of course, but so you know in the future: you have to elevate to root permissions to delete or modify files you don’t own.  You can do that in Mint by navigating so that you can see the folder(s) you want to delete in the file manager, then right-click the background and select the option to Open as Root, then select that.  A root-level file manager window will open, and that one will be able to delete folders with different permissions.  It’s best to close it as soon as you are finished and to use regular non-root instances of Caja for everything possible, and to only elevate permissions for things that need it.

      Selecting “Open as Root” elevates privileges to root much the same way as ‘sudo’ on the command line, though ‘sudo’ from the command line should not be used to launch graphical applications like the file manager (Caja in Mint MATE).  It’s safer to use the option from the context menu.  This could change in the next LTS release of Ubuntu and its derivatives (like Mint and Neon), but for now, it’s best not to use ‘sudo’ for graphical applications on derivatives of Ubuntu 18.04, which includes Mint 19.x.

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.18).

      • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by  Ascaris.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2086578 Reply

        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks- this is what I was looking for.  I want to wipe the Veeam backups made before I reinstalled Mint so there is no chance that a new Veeam install will find them.  One of my self-inflicted foul-ups in the original Mint install involved user accounts, and the user who commanded those backups is defunct and not to be resurrected.

        I see a familiar pattern emerging- I’m learning Mint one mistake at a time…

        1 user thanked author for this post.

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