After creating a UDF volume on my 1TB external hard disk. I noticed I hadn't set the volume label. How can I change this?

I currently have udftools in Ubuntu but can't determine the correct command if any. I tried renaming the volume in Windows 7, but after reboot the volume label appeared to be reset.


Please see this question for some context.

  • Are you sure its UDF? UDF is only for CD/DVD media. – Juice Dec 30 '09 at 13:37
  • Yes I'm sure... – Matt Joiner Dec 30 '09 at 15:26
  • If this question is so damn popular, why is nobody upvoting it?! – Matt Joiner Jan 5 '11 at 14:02
  • Also note: Someone providing an answer to this question is going to get a LOT of upvotes... – Matt Joiner Jan 5 '11 at 14:03

Project udftools since version 2.0 has a new command line tool named udflabel which can change label on existing UDF filesystem.


I hadn't set the volume label. How can I change this?

You can use the 'label' command prompt in Windows (as explained by Wil) or simply right click on the volume and choose Rename, or Properties, highlight the label, edit it and Apply.

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I have tested this in Vista and 7 with an external hard disk and a USB flash drive. The settings will stick after a reboot and the drives work with Linux (PCLOS in my case).

However in Windows XP (lacking UDF support), the drives will be detected fine and files are be readable but I cannot write to them or rename the volume label. Using UDF on a removable drive is of rather limited use (perhaps the Toshiba UDF 2.5 driver will fix the issue, but I haven't tried).

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For your particular case, there might be a problem with the hard disk or the enclosure.

If you want to format a drive in Windows using the UDF file system with a label, the correct syntax is:

format x: /fs:udf /v:your_label

Do not use the quick format option.

  • No. As i also use a lot of usb sticks and hard drives, even tried UDF, it fails serveral times. Mostly, you can only change it once. But after that, it will not work corectly, just like Anacrolix said: I tried renaming the volume in Windows 7, but after reboot the volume label appeared to be reset. – Deniz Zoeteman Jan 4 '10 at 18:58
  • well, i haven't had any issues with the labels resetting themselves in Windows Vista/7 or Linux, only XPcan't write to these drives. FAT32 or NTFS is by far the better choice for external drives. – Molly7244 Jan 4 '10 at 19:16

I really can't understand why you want UDF on a hard drive... Even after reading your other post, there must be a better alternative!

I have just formatted a spare external drive with UDF (never done that before!) and set a label "test" (using label command in command prompt) and then removed it, put it back and rebooted as well as trying it in Ubuntu and every time the name was there, it worked flawlessly...

... Prehaps, if you haven't copied much - can you remove everything and try to reformat the drive giving a label during format?

My only guess as to why it failed - from the other question you made, perhaps you accidentally changed a permission that stops this from happening? Far fetched I know, but when you can't reproduce a bug, you have to look at everything!

  • what label command did you use? can you tell me what package it's from (dpkg -S $(which label))? all i seem to have is e2label, dosfslabel, and mlabel, none of which handle UDF filesystems. – quack quixote Jan 2 '10 at 4:13
  • hmm. now that i think about it, you probably mean the label command in Windows cmd prompt... in which case, the question becomes which Win version you used? – quack quixote Jan 2 '10 at 9:11
  • Windows 7... and yes, label command and command prompt, sorry I didn't make it clear. – William Hilsum Jan 2 '10 at 14:36

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