Somehow a coworker's Mac hard drive was renamed with over 250 characters. Too many to show in the Finder, though I did take a photo of the name while booting up in command line. its mostly 'h's and 'n's and 'g's. I just keep losing count of how many, since it wraps to 2 lines, and it numbs my brain to try. Is there a wildcard way to rename the boot volume? I have actually booted with an external backup, but the renamed drive just hangs up Disk Utility and Disk Warrior and any attempts to access the drive end in failure.

I haven't found this problem anywhere else, I figured ghost cats must have stepped on the enter key and then renamed files and hard drives before, but I guess they always stop after a few characters.

So can anyone help? Thank you!

  • So, you can boot from it into single-user mode, but you can't do a normal boot from it?
    – Spiff
    Sep 25, 2013 at 23:13
  • Also, when booted into single-user mode from that drive, does fsck -fy / work?
    – Spiff
    Sep 25, 2013 at 23:47
  • I can run fsck -fy and applejack auto (which I have installed), but the machine hangs in regular boot up.
    – BeCycle
    Sep 27, 2013 at 11:10

1 Answer 1


Try running this command

diskutil rename /Volumes/oldname newname

or for your boot disk:

diskutil rename / newname
  • The problem is I can't accurately type the oldname, it's too long and confusing. (Is that 85 or 86 'n's, and 92 'g's or 91?) My brain gives up. I can probably do it, but I hate the thought of getting it wrong five times in a row.
    – BeCycle
    Sep 27, 2013 at 11:10
  • is it a boot volume or not? if not you can still copy and paste the name
    – phuclv
    Sep 27, 2013 at 13:42
  • Thanks, I think the drive is now beyond help. If I do diskutil list I see volumes, but no name for the disk I'm trying to rename. It looks like I just have to reformat. Maybe this whole thing was a hardware failure.
    – BeCycle
    Sep 27, 2013 at 19:05

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