I have an external Hard Drive with two bootable partitions on it. The first is an image of a Mac OS X 10.6 Install DVD, and the second is an image of a Mac OS X 10.6.3 Install DVD.

When I plug the hard drive into a Mac Mini, and turn it on holding down the Alt key, I get the option to select which boot device to use. However both my bootable images are named "Mac OS X Install DVD".

How would I change the name of the bootable image?

I have already tried changing the partition names but this has no effect.

Any ideas?

Note: I originally asked this on SuperUser, but upon discovering this site, I asked it here also.

Edit: Here are some related pictures:

The Partition in Finder

The Partition in Finder

Disk Information in Disk Utility

Disk Information in Disk Utility

Volume Information in Disk Utility

Volume Information in Disk Utility

  • Just out of curiosity: why do you need installers for both 10.6 and 10.6.3? – Dori Sep 18 '10 at 23:23
  • Are you using something other than GUID partitioning? I can't think of any other reason why changing the disk label would not change the menu display... – Robert S Ciaccio Sep 19 '10 at 3:06
  • @Dori Because I may need to install on the newest Mac Mini and the model before, and the previous model doesn't boot from the 10.6.3 Install DVD. – DanielGibbs Sep 19 '10 at 6:05
  • @calavera Nope, definitely using GUID partitioning. – DanielGibbs Sep 19 '10 at 6:06
  • can you post a screenshot of the volume info in disk utility and also he get info window in finder? – Robert S Ciaccio Sep 19 '10 at 6:17

This is an older post, but I came across it today and figured I'd share what I found.

The 'bless' command seems to make this work. First make sure the disk is mounted, find out which folder it is mounted to, and:

sudo bless --folder <mount_path> -label <desired_label>

For example:

sudo bless --folder "/Volumes/Mac OS X Lion Install ESD" -label "Lion Install"

Whatever you put for the label is what should show up at the choose disk screen when holding option during a boot.

Note that you'll probably want to do this in addition to renaming in Finder or Get Info just to keep them somewhat in sync and make them easier to identify in either case.

  • Great, exactly what I searched for :) – TooAToB Dec 10 '13 at 20:25
  • Note that this no longer works the newer firmware updates. A different directory ".IABootFiles" needs to be blessed, not the root. See my answer for an example. – David Oct 4 '17 at 11:26
  • this didn't work for me at first, but after a few hours of searching, I found out that sometimes you might have to unbless a folder then bless it again to change the name sudo bless --unbless <mount_path> – Jaketr00 Jun 23 '18 at 17:47

Unless I'm totally misunderstanding your question, this is pretty simple. You can change the volume name just by right clicking it in finder, choosing "Get Info", and modifying the "name and extension" field. Or slow clicking twice on the name of the volume as it appears on the desktop, and editing it just like any other file name... I do this all the time with bootable volumes and it works just fine.

Your installer doesn't have to be called "Mac OS X Install DVD". The installer doesn't care what you call it. Name one "Crap Bag" and the other one "Princess Consuela Banana Hammock"... no one will care and OS X will still install just fine.


I just tried this with a USB stick I created that has the 10.6.3 installer on it. I had already changed the name from "Mac OS X Install DVD" to "10.6.3 Installer minus Optional". I just changed it to "10.6.3 Banana Hammock" and when I booted with alt, that is what was displayed.

There must be something not explained here that is causing this... maybe partition schemes other than GPT don't work this way?

on second edit:

What method did you use to put the images on the bootable partitions? I ask because I'm wondering if you just copied the images themselves rather than cloning or restoring them to the partitions.

I've never tested this, but I'm wondering if it's possible to have .dmg files that are bootable on a partition. The behavior that would arise would be in line with what you're describing. You could change the partition/volume name, but it wouldn't affect the name of the dmg file. Even if you changed the dmg file name, that wouldn't affect the name of the disk image (volume) contained within the dmg file.

If this is the case, I would think you could change the name by mounting the image in OS X, and then changing the volume name (the name of the volume that shows up on the desktop or in disk utility) that was mounted from the dmg or iso.

edit III

Below are the steps I used to create my installer image. The main difference is Carbon Copy Cloner. It may not work any better, but at this point it may be worth a try since mine has the behavior you would like to see.

  1. Inserted OS X Install DVD.

  2. In Disk Utility, clicked "New Image".

  3. Named it "Installer_image.dmg".

  4. Chose "compressed" and "none" for encryption, clicked save.

  5. Once complete, I mounted the image and deleted the optional folder.

  6. Right clicked the mounted volume, chose "Get Info", wrote down the exact amount of space used in the image for files and folders, and unchecked "Ignore Ownership on this Volume".

  7. Went back to disk utility, inserted my flash drive, and made a partition named "10.6.3 Install minus Optional" that was about 500MB larger than the disk image's used space.

  8. Did another "get info" on the new flash drive volume and unchecked the ignore ownership option.

  9. In Carbon Copy Cloner: as source, chose the mounted installer volume, target was the new flash volume. Chose "Backup Everything" and "Delete items that don't exist on the source". Clicked clone.

Afterwards, I am able to change the name of the flash volume, and whatever I change it to is what shows up in the boot menu.

  • He can change the partition names just fine; what he can't change is the name of the disk images. Those have to be named "Mac OS X Install DVD," so the question becomes: how can he tell which one to boot from? – Dori Sep 19 '10 at 0:29
  • But doesn't the boot menu show whatever the volume name is rather than what image was restored to the volume? – Robert S Ciaccio Sep 19 '10 at 0:32
  • this doesn't make any sense to me... the 'image" he's talking about is just the image that he cloned to the partitions. So the partition/volumes end up with the same name as the volume/image he cloned from. But there should be nothing preventing him from renaming the volume which changes the partition label and makes it display differently in the boot menu. – Robert S Ciaccio Sep 19 '10 at 2:47
  • aaaaaahhh I see... What you're trying to say is that the installer partition/image/volume needs to be named Mac OS X Install DVD. However, this is incorrect... OS X will install just fine no matter what you name the installer DVD/image/volume/partition or whatever. I've named mine anything from "hack" to "Installer" to "10.6.3 Installer". It doesn't matter. – Robert S Ciaccio Sep 19 '10 at 2:49
  • I have renamed the volumes/partitions, but on the boot menu they both show up as "Mac OS X Install DVD". – DanielGibbs Sep 19 '10 at 6:09

Note that since a firmware update that came in with High Sierra (late 2017) the root of the drive is now a secondary source for the disk label files. The primary source is within a directory called:


For example, to hit both sources:

sudo bless --folder "/Volumes/Install macOS 10.12" --label "Install macOS 10.12"

sudo bless --folder "/Volumes/Install macOS 10.12/.IABootFiles" --label "Install macOS 10.12"

Do you ever try use rEFit:
rEFIt is a boot menu and maintenance toolkit for EFI-based machines

  • I will be using the hard drive to install Max OS X on many different machines (about 300) so I would prefer not to use any extra software. – DanielGibbs Sep 19 '10 at 6:04
  • I was going to suggest this as rEFIt does have this capability... however, rEFIt does have to be installed on each machine, so it's not going to work in this case... – Josh Nov 5 '10 at 13:36

Given that you can't change the name of the disk images, what you need to do is be able to tell which disk image is which. To what you're doing now, you'll need to add one extra step…

  1. Plug in the external HD.
  2. Boot the mini from its internal HD.
  3. Go to System Prefs > Startup Disk. Each bootable system listed should display its OS version. Choose the specific installer you want.
  4. Click the "Restart…" button.
  • Ok thanks, I know which is which now, I was just wondering if there was a way to change the names, in case someone else needed to use the hard drive. – DanielGibbs Sep 19 '10 at 6:03

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