View Full Version : Attaching/Preserving custom icons

04-25-2006, 12:32 PM
SD! is a great backup utility. But it has an “undocumented capability”, in conjunction with a script, set_icon, recently provided by Dave Nanian, to install & preserve custom icons to the target HD/volume. Every time SD! copies to an external HD, it will replace any custom HD icon (such as the one your HD came with) with the OSX default orange FW or USB icon. Disk Utility does the same thing when you erase/partition an HD. If you want to preserve an existing custom icon, OR install one of your choice (putting SD! to a novel use), you can use the set_icon script to do so, as follows, abstracted from the SD! discussion - Sticky: How to preserve icon of target volume during smartbackup?

- Create a folder named "Volume Icons" in your Home folder.
- Place in it the icon image file you want for a given volume/partition, named "the-volume-name.VolumeIcon.icns". You need one for each affected volume.
- Download the “ set_icon” script (see attachment) and set it as your "after copy" script in Advanced options. That'll set the custom icon each time a backup is done. The next step makes it visible.
- After all updates in a session are done, Opt-Ctrl-Click on the Finder’s Dock icon, and Relaunch Finder. The custom icon(s) will appear. You have to repeat this every time you run SD!

How do you get the icon you want? If you’re trying to preserve the original maker’s HD icon, make sure the first time you mount your new HD, to copy the desktop icon before you erase/partition it in Disk Utilities. Click-copy on the HD icon, open Preview, and click on “New from Clipboard”, which makes a TIFF image of it. Then use a graphics program like GraphicConverter to save it as an Apple Icon Image. If you don’t have one, use “Icon Composer” from the OSX install DVD: Install “Developer Tools” to your boot HD from “/XCode Tools/Packages/Developer Tools.pkg”. Then open Icon Composer in /Developer/Appplications/Utilities/ and use it to convert the TIFF image into an Apple Icon Image (“Huge Size” works best).

For other icon image sources, look on the HD maker’s Web page or in various online computer supply Web sites, or even take a picture of your HD with a digital camera, then convert the image to an Apple Icon Image. BUT TAKE NOTE: OWC has a nice selection of “icons” for their HDs, unfortunately, the “icons” aren’t icon files, but empty folders. OWC gives instructions on how to transfer the folder icons to your HD, using the “Get Info” function. If you want to use them with the set_icon script, just click-copy the one you like and import it as a TIFF file into Preview as above.