I have an external drive connected to my MacBook Air via USB 3.1 Gen 2 through a TB3 hub.

A few weeks ago I changed name of the drive from Mercury 1TB to just Mercury. This was done in the Finder.

I find that when I in Terminal ls /Volumes I unexpectedly see both the the old name and the new name listed.

I can cd into the old volume but when I try to ls I get Permission denied.

In Disk Utility I can only see the new volume (Mercury). First Aid function finds no problems to repair.

I have restarted many times but have not taken any other troubleshooting actions.

I also occasionally have KPs when the machine is idle, but this is likely unrelated as they started before the renaming.

Why is this old name still appearing and what can be done about it?

See screenshot from terminal:

screenshot from terminal

Update to add:

The mystery volume does not appear on the desktop. It appears in the /Volumes directory even when the external drive is powered off.

When I sudo ls -al the only file that is present is .Spotlight-V100.

Here's there result of diskutil list as requested in comments:

diskutil list
/dev/disk0 (internal, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *500.3 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI EFI                     314.6 MB   disk0s1
   2:                 Apple_APFS Container disk1         500.0 GB   disk0s2

/dev/disk1 (synthesized):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      APFS Container Scheme -                      +500.0 GB   disk1
                                 Physical Store disk0s2
   1:                APFS Volume Macintosh HD            11.3 GB    disk1s1
   2:                APFS Volume Macintosh HD - Data     167.3 GB   disk1s2
   3:                APFS Volume Preboot                 82.0 MB    disk1s3
   4:                APFS Volume Recovery                528.9 MB   disk1s4
   5:                APFS Volume VM                      5.4 GB     disk1s5

/dev/disk2 (external, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *1.0 TB     disk2
   1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk2s1
   2:                 Apple_APFS Container disk3         1000.0 GB  disk2s2

/dev/disk3 (synthesized):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      APFS Container Scheme -                      +1000.0 GB  disk3
                                 Physical Store disk2s2
   1:                APFS Volume Mercury                 11.0 GB    disk3s1
  • Do both names appear on the desktop? If so, try deleting the old one.
    – Natsfan
    Feb 17, 2021 at 19:28
  • @Natsfan no, the only way I even know the old one still exists is via Terminal.
    – AllInOne
    Feb 17, 2021 at 19:34
  • How did you rename the hard drive? Via finder or Disk Utility or a term? Could you show the details of your disk with “diskutil list” cmd?
    – Nibor Ndj
    Feb 17, 2021 at 19:41
  • 1
    @NiborNdj via finder, have updated with details requested.
    – AllInOne
    Feb 17, 2021 at 20:35
  • 1
    This is very similar to apple.stackexchange.com/questions/413858/… from yesterday. Old mount points seem to be flavour of the week :)
    – Gilby
    Feb 19, 2021 at 10:51

1 Answer 1


My first guess with the elements you give is that something went wrong while renaming. The old drive you see in Volume is the old mounting point of your drive and it still contains the index file for spotlight.

I would just delete this folder using:

sudo rm -rf '/Volumes/Mercury 1TB'/.Spotlight-V100
sudo rmdir '/Volumes/Mercury 1TB'

*Updated after nohillside's comment in the thread down below.

  • 1
    The directory should be empty (and I would avoid deleting it if it isn‘t) so sudo rmdir … would be the safer approach.
    – nohillside
    Feb 19, 2021 at 8:27
  • In his case, rmdir will not work. As the volume was renamed without being ejected, the mounting point kept existing and the file in it is just a spotlight index. There is absolutely no risk deleting this.
    – Nibor Ndj
    Feb 19, 2021 at 9:49
  • It is a directory showing up in Terminal. If it still would be an active mount point rm -rf would wipe the whole disk mounted there. So either it is really just an empty directory (and deletable by rmdir) or it has still content. In the second case deleting it can be harmful and shouldn't be attempted.
    – nohillside
    Feb 19, 2021 at 9:59
  • 1
    I understand that in the current context rm -r should work as well. But it may not work for future visitors with similar problems which then just run the command you propose. To be on the safe side I would at least run sudo rm -rf '/Volumes/Mercury 1TB'/.Spotlight-V100; sudo rmdir '/Volumes/Mercury 1TB'
    – nohillside
    Feb 19, 2021 at 10:03
  • 1
    I get what you mean now. Effectively, someone not reading the question / understanding the context properly might do something wrong with the command above. I will modify the answer. Thanks.
    – Nibor Ndj
    Feb 19, 2021 at 10:04

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