Hide a volume

To hide a volume in Mac OS X 10.6 you will need to do the following

First, Install the Developer Tools (You can find these on the Mac OS X Installation Disc that came with your machine, or you can download Xcode from the Mac App Store).

Once you have done this Open a Terminal Window and type the following

sudo SetFile -a V /Volumes/VolumeName

replace VolumeName with the name of the volume you wish to hide

then type

sudo reboot

when the machine has rebooted you will notice that the volume no longer appears either on the desktop, or in a Finder window

to reveal a previously hidden volume just type the same command but use a lower case v


sudo SetFile -a v /Volumes/VolumeName

A common use for this would be to hide a volume with sensitive data on, although this will not encrypt any data so is not the best method for confidential items.

Hide a Bootcamp volume from OS X

To hide a bootcamp volume in Mac OS X 10.6 you will need to do the following

First, Open Disk Utility, highlight the Windows partition, click on info and note down the UUID

Open TextEdit & create a file called fstab.txt & save it to the root of the OS X partition, enter the following text into it

UUID=EnterUniqueIdentifierHere none ntfs ro,noauto 0 0

For FAT32 formatted partititons, replace ‘ntfs’ with ‘msdos’

Save & quit TextEdit

Open Terminal, rename & move the file to /etc, do this by typing the following

cd /
sudo mv fstab.txt /etc/fstab

Reboot the machine & log in, you should no longer see the Boot Camp partition on the desktop

Change passwords from the command line

If you believe that your admin password has been compromised then it is always a good idea to change it, the dilemma is, if you have the same password for hundreds of machines, then it will be quite a hassle to go round to them all and change it, so you have 2 options

1. Invest in Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) to manage your machines.
2. SSH into all machines and change them that way.

I have ARD, so I will guide you through using that, the solution is in essence the same for either option, it’s just a hell of a lot quicker with ARD.

First, you need to select all the machines you wish to make the amendment on, then, you need to select the Send Unix Task option, you will want to run this as root, so select that option, then type the following into the command window

dscl . -passwd /Users/USERNAME PASSWORD

change USERNAME for the short name of the account you wish to change the password of, and swap PASSWORD for the new password, if you don’t set a new password then it will blank the password and then you will need to set a new one the next time you log in

One downside to this timesaving tip is that the next time you log in to the machines, you will need to have knowledge of the old password, so you can unlock the login keychain for that account.

When using this via SSH, you will need to sudo, otherwise it will fail.

And it goes without saying that this should NEVER be attempted on an account that has been filevault encrypted!

Switch to admin via Terminal

Quite often I will arrive at a users machine and need to perform an administrative task, to do this without logging them out I choose to use the Terminal and change to an administrative user that way, here is my guide on how to do this.

Open the Terminal application

(Located in /Applications/Utilities)

for this example my administrative user is named localadmin, so whenever you see this just replace it with your administrative user

type the following

su localadmin

when you hit enter you will be prompted for your password, once you enter this correctly you will now be running as the administrative user.

You will not be able to SU to an admin user account without a password set