1. I had the exact same problem with my brand new iMac. I was about to completely reinstall Leopard and restore my configurations from Time Machine when I read your piece. Thank You, thank you, thank you!!!!!!! Tech support wasn’t quite sure what to do.

    Your solution worked like a charm!!!!!!

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  2. I have the problem you described. My missing hard drive icon is for an external hard drive connected directly to my Mac Pro with by firewire 800 cable. I had an icon for this drive on my desktop and it worked fine. Several programs had files I had created and saved to it, and even when the icon vanished from the Finder, the progams could still open those files from the File>Open Recent menu so I know the drive is working.
    I tried the solution suggested. I got the name of the drive from Disk Utility just to be sure I had the name right. It didn’t work.

    The first line to type into Terminal that you specified returns “No such File: /Volumes/fred”
    I tried it several times with variations like: /fred and even “/LaCie/fred” all with the same no such file response.

    Am I missing something? this is the first time I have used Terminal and I only switched to Mac 2 months ago so something simple could trip me up.
    Any advice welcome.

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  3. Stephanie Guertin Thursday, March 13, 2008

    @DorianN – Can you navigate to the drive in the Go menu via that drive name? If not, you may have a different problem. Also, is the drive HFS or FAT32? I only know that this works with HFS drives, and it may not with FAT32 – though the (limited) info available on this doesn’t mention any difference there, I can’t make any guarantees that there’s not.

    @robertl – Very happy to hear that it helped.

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  4. I can’t navigate to the drive using the Go menu. The drive name is not there. The drive is present for programs that have recently saved files to that drive using File>Recent and it is present in the Disk Utility app, no where else.

    The drive is listed in Disk Utility as Journaled HFS Plus volume.
    it also says the “The volume appears to be OK” when I run verify disk.
    I am new to Mac so I may be missing something obvious. Your help is appreciated.

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  5. I’m having the same problem, but when I try to run the first command above, with just a slash for my startup drive, I get:

    “No such xattr: com.apple.metadata:kMDItemFinderComment”

    If I explicitly name the drive, I get:

    “No such file: /Macintosh HD”

    Any ideas?

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  6. Stephanie Guertin Thursday, March 13, 2008

    @Jack – with that space in there, you need to phrase it as /Volumes/Macintosh HD to indicate the space. Let me know how that works.

    @DorianN – if it’s really your metadata that’s to blame, the drive should still come up in the Go menu. I’m honestly not sure what your drive is doing – why don’t you try our forums? There’s some very smart people in there that may be of more help to you.

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  7. This isn’t specific to Leopard, it happened to me in Tiger as well.

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  8. And the saga continues.
    While poking around I discovered that If I click the Apple in the menu bar and select Recent Items in the section labeled Servers there are 2 listings for fred, one opens the external hard drive and shows the files, the other gives a Connection failed.

    Also, there are 2 listings called LaCie (which is the brand of hd I have) the first one does nothing, no error message or anything else. The second LaCie gives the connection failed error message.

    I selected the first fred and it opened the finder window with the folder that contains files i want access to. I made an alias of it and put it on my desktop and now that works as access to fred.

    Too weird. It sure seems like a hidden icon problem to me but I cant get the Terminal commands to work for me.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer me. I will try the discussions and see what i find.

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  9. Hi Stephanie,
    The version of xattr that ships with Leopard is a python script that calls a library (python ‘egg’) written by Bob Ippolito, and distributed under the MIT license. You’re mostly right about the commands, except that ‘-l’ is actually “long”; xattr lists the names of the extended attributes attached to the file by default, in the absence of a flag.
    Bob’s source code can be found here. In the unlikely event that one needs to run xattr from a loop in a shell script, I would recommend using Marquis Logans’s version from Darwin Ports, my version from Sourceforge, adapting the source code from one of the BSD *nix distributions, or rolling your own. Otherwise, the python run-time system gets loaded every iteration.
    The version numbers of the three versions (0.4, 0.3, and 0.1, respectively) are completely unrelated. (Helpful, I know). My version is the work of an inexperienced hobbyist, but should be a drop-in replacement for Bob’s as far as command syntax goes.

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