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I've installed Windows 7 for a dual-boot setup on my new Core i7 MacBook Pro. Now, just for the looks, I'd like to change the volume icon. The partition is in NTFS format.

I remember that in the past (with Leopard), you just had to add a .VolumeIcon.icns file at the root of a volume to set its icon. It seems this trick wore off with Snow Leopard. It apparently still works with CDs and DVDs, but hard drives keep that old, boring drive icon, no matter how lovely the .VolumeIcon.icns file I've put at the root.

How can I change that?

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It still works like this. At least on my OS X partition. Tried it while renaming the file, and Finder changes to default, and then custom icon as expected immediately. – Daniel Beck Jan 13 '11 at 6:13
up vote 0 down vote accepted

See this page for Apple's documentation, but the process to change a volume or folder's icon is:

  1. Find the picture you want to use and copy it to the clipboard.
  2. Control-click the volume and choose "Get Info".
  3. Click the volume's icon to highlight it, then press Cmd-V to paste the icon.

Below is an image of the info window for my NTFS drive after setting the icon (and unmounting/remounting it to be sure the setting stuck).

Info window of an NTFS drive with custom icon mounted with MacFUSE

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Only works when you have write access to the folder, and my partition is NTFS. – zneak Jan 12 '11 at 15:09
@zneak Install NTFS-3G for read/write access to NTFS permissions (uses MacFUSE):… – Stephen Jennings Jan 13 '11 at 4:56
This installer overwrote my existing MacFUSE installation and now I get popups about MacFUSE version mismatches whenever I try to mount a MacFUSE filesystem. Also, I can't test since I can't mount MacFUSE volumes right now, but but I suspect MacFUSE handles volume options in a special way and that the icon would disappear on unmount. – zneak Jan 13 '11 at 5:31
Not sure about the MacFUSE installation (I installed the latest NTFS-3G driver before this post but left my MacFUSE installation alone). However I tested just now and the icon persists remounting. See my edit above for a screenshot. – Stephen Jennings Jan 13 '11 at 5:42

Maybe your .icns file is in the wrong format regarding size, etc. Assign an icon to your OS X partition as Stephen describes, and then retrieve the resulting .icns file.

cp /.VolumeIcon.icns ~/VolumeIcon.icns
chflags nohidden ~/VolumeIcon.icns

Then copy it to whatever Windows accessible storage device you have, and put it in the NTFS partition root directory using Windows. Windows doesn't let you create file names with a leading . in explorer, use the command line to rename.

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