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When I try to set the volume label for my FAT32 USB drive the normal way (using Windows Explorer or Disk Management), the filesystem just makes the label uppercase when applying it.

Is it possible at all to set a mixed-case volume label on the drive on Windows? I know there may be no real reason for me to do that, but I'd really like to know.

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4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

From the Windows XP Documentation:

For FAT volumes, volume labels are stored as uppercase regardless of whether they contain lowercase letters. NTFS volume labels retain and display the case used when the label was created.

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In other words, will I be unable to do anything about this on Windows, and have to resort to using Linux or Mac OS X? –  BoltClock May 5 '10 at 4:23
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Windows will not label a FAT32 disk in mixed case, even though the spec supports it. Other utilities may be able to set it, but I don't know of any off the top of my head.

Also, it's possible to create a file in the root of the file system, then set the "ATTR_VOLUME_ID" attribute (not available through explorer) and that file's name will show as the label of the file system. But again, I don't know any utilities that would make this easy.

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Thanks for confirming that FAT32 does indeed support mixed-case labels. –  BoltClock May 4 '10 at 19:35
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FAT is not case sensitive, and doesn't preserve file case (except in long filenames). This applies to the label too.

POSSIBLY DANGEROUS FOR NEWBIES: You could try a hex editor, but I'm not sure if the case changes will stay for long. (Don't forget to reconnect the drive after editing).

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create an autorun.inf file on the device and enter the following code

label=[whatever you like here exactly how you want it]

dismount and remount and voila! there ya go!

No need for hex editors and all that BS.

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Yeah I tried that a few years ago and that didn't work. I don't need to try it again to know it won't. –  BoltClock Mar 12 '11 at 4:07
    
Partly true … You need to put the label= line under an [AutoRun] section header. At that point, "My Fancy Label" will show up in some parts of the Windows UI (Windows 7), but not all. For example, it will show up in the AutoPlay dialog that appears when you insert the USB drive, and it will appear in the "Safely Remove Hardware" menu. It will not, however, appear in Explorer. Explorer continues to show the regular volume label. –  SWB Jun 10 '11 at 17:54
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