mass file delete problem with nautilus ?

I've had a problem occurring fairly regularly when I use nautilus to
empty a lot of ext3 files (1000's) from the wastebasket - after a while
the disk goes into "read-only" state - cant delete or create any files.
Yet hdparm shows the disk is still in readwrite mode.
This problem hasn't occurred using konqueror to delete a similar volume
of data from the kde wastebasket, nor when the same activity is done
from the console. This is a heavy duty work disk with high file
turnover.. so my question is, how do I check whether it is in fact
nautilus causing this, or some other component it uses, or even my build
could be wrong (from cvs head) ?
This is a 120 gig WDC IDE drive. I understand it has smaller buffers
than other makes such as Seagate.

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