Deleting the (Files in the) Trash crashes Mountain Lion

I had not deleted the files in the trash for quite a while. One of the reasons was, that once the trash was getting crowded, deleting all the files would take quite a while. So I delayed it more and more

Yesterday I decided, it is time to fight the fear of loosing files and delete the trash. Of course, I did start a backup session first. When this was done, I started to empty the trash. Since it said “97030 files”, I decided it is OK to leave the computer on it’s own and go to bed. Coming back the next morning, the computer was frozen. It showed a password screen, but didn’t work any more.

I rebooted.

It did not boot.

I stopped the computer again, this time pressing the “alt” key on the computer while booting. I selected the repair option (can’t remember the exact text, sorry) and first did a check of my disk drive. It turned out to be OK. Then I had the choice:
– reinstall from backup
– reinstall OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

My thoughts where:
– Only reinstalling the OS would be quicker and I would keep all my non backed-up files. But depending on where the problem really is, this would mean I have no idea if some of my files got lost.
– Reinstalling from Backup would definitely restore all files in the backup.

So I decided to reinstall the computer from backup over firewire 800. First it said 16 hours remaining, but then it was done after 4 hours.

Luckily, it worked – but with some strange flaws: An attached USB stick was not writable, the Finder did not show the computer itself, and some graphical flaws were apparent. Stay tuned…