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Terminal Tip: Showing and Hiding Disks using Developer tools

In a couple of recent posts, I showed you how to how to hide drives using Finder preferences and selectively show some of them using aliases. I received a number of emails looking for more elegant solutions i.e. avoiding the look of aliases and their won't-sort-properly-like-a-real-drive behavior. A few readers also asked how to hide their iDisks, which didn't respond to the preferences the same way that hard drives did.

First let me note that iDisks aren't seen by Finder as normal hard drive volumes or, as you might expect, as connected servers. Instead, iDisks are controlled by the CDs, DVDs, and iPods preference--the same preference that shows and hides attached thumb drives and memory card readers.

As for the more elegant volume-by-volume solution, that lies in the realm of Terminal and the command-line developer tool SetFile. You can join the Apple Developer Connection and gain access to the developer tools with a Free ADC Online Membership. After installing the dev tools, you'll find SetFile in the /Developer/Tools folder.

To hide a volume, use the -a V flag with SetFile and then restart Finder. This will hide the iDisk, even in Sync mode

% /Developer/Tools/SetFile -a V /Volumes/iDisk/
% killall "Finder"

To bring the volume back, use -a v instead. (Notice the lower case "v".)

% /Developer/Tools/SetFile -a v /Volumes/iDisk/
% killall "Finder"

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