Using the System Preference -> Startup Disk I set my startup disk to Macintosh HD. When I open it the name at the top of its window is "/". When I open the startup disk using Applescript it opens Macintosh HD, but the name of it becomes "/". Is this normal behavior? My actual applescript code is this.

  tell application "Finder" to open startup disk    
  tell application "Finder" to get the index of Finder window "Macintosh HD"

But the 2nd line produces the error message

error "Finder got an error: Can’t get Finder window "Macintosh HD"." number -1728 from Finder window "Macintosh HD"

if I replace 2nd line with:

tell application "Finder" to get the index of Finder window "/"

It gives me the expected answer of 1.

The image below shows the window Macintosh HD. Notice the name at the top of the window and the name at the bottom of the window. Can someone tell me if this is normal or do i have a problem?

enter image description here

  • Considering the various issues you've been having lately I'm starting to think your system is pretty messed up! Anyway, if I run the two Finder lines of code shown, they produce the expected results, assuming defaults are in play, and open the Macintosh HD and return 1 as expected. Even from Terminal, open / opens to the Macintosh HD at the top center of the Finder window. Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 2:41
  • yea the smart status of my internal fusion drive is Failed but my computer is still crunching. I'm not sure exactly what Failed means exactly. Did it fail on one write attempt or Failed a number of times in a row. My iMac is very slow. Unless the Apple meeting Monday is a big disappointment, I expect new iMacs to be announced - ending some of these maddening problems.
    – Natsfan
    Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 2:48
  • BTW What is the sudoers file doing in the root of the Macintosh HD when it belongs in /private/etc? Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 2:50
  • I have no idea. i noticed it when I made that image. Don't remember moving it there. Should I move it back to /private/etc ?
    – Natsfan
    Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 2:55
  • 2
    @jmh you should really look into your SMART status. Disk Utility's SMART info is very generic. Download a SMART viewer and check to see which drive is damaged, and how severely. You should also make sure your backup is in working order Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 3:20

2 Answers 2


The Finder normally uses the folder name in its window titles, but a preference can be set to show the POSIX path. From the Terminal, the following command will set the preference, where true will show POSIX paths, and false will just use the name - in earlier systems the Finder may need to be restarted for it to take effect (the killall part):

defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool false; killall Finder

Macintosh HD is the partition name. The mount point is /, however. Other volumes are mounted in the /Volumes/ directory, such as /Volumes/MyDisk, if MyDisk is the name of the partition. This is similar to how Windows operates, where the boot disk is always C:\.

I'm not sure why Finder is showing it as /, though. On both my Mojave and Sierra machines, it shows "Macintosh HD". I don't have the bottom info bar, so that may be the reason.

  • Yes, but when i use the applescript line: tell application "Finder" to open "Macintosh HD" it works fine.
    – Natsfan
    Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 2:37

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