October 27 2009

How to: set a custom icon for an NTFS Boot Camp drive in Mac OS X 10.6

This uses the experimental read/write NTFS support of Snow Leopard. Note that the icon in the boot option menu (that you get by pressing the option key at startup) will not change; this is because the Mac firmware does not include an NTFS driver, even read-only, so it has no way to read the icon. You’ll need to have the Developer Tools installed. I’m assuming you have an icon file ‘prettyicon.icns’ on your desktop, and your NTFS drive is called WindowsPartition. Here goes:

# remount the NTFS drive as read/write
sudo mount -u -o rw /Volumes/WindowsPartition

# copy the icon
cp Desktop/prettyicon.icns /Volumes/WindowsPartition/.VolumeIcon.icns

# set the flag that tells OS X to use a custom icon
SetFile -a C /Volumes/WindowsPartition

# remount as read-only once again
sudo mount -u -o ro /Volumes/WindowsPartition