Tried to install portable SSD, Disk Utility stuck, Mac stuck during shut down, and stuck during safe mode

Apr 16, 2020
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Hello - I hope someone can help me. Sorry in advance for the long list and the long mess.

I have mac mini late 2014, with Mojave installed - V.10.14.6.

I'm gonna list what happened today:
  • I got a Sandisk Portable SSD and I tried to install it.
  • I went to Disk Utility, erased it, renamed it, and set it to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) etc etc then turned off the mac.
  • I turned it back on pressing Option to pick the SSD and install the OS, it kept reading it as "Windows" (??).
  • I restarted with normal mode, went back to Disk Utility and everything seemed okay with the SSD.
  • I turned the mac off again and it got stuck ( black screen with cursor ) - had to force restart.
  • I went back to Disk Utility and tried to see if i could use first aid on my HD see if it something happened there AND it got stuck. ( rainbow loading kind of stuck ). Had to FORCE RESTART again.
  • I restarted it 3 times and it kept doing this so I tried to get in on Safe Mode.
  • Safe mode did its thing but when it loaded the whole bar it got stuck AGAIN - basically, Apple logo + white bar all loaded. Waited for 2 hrs. Nothing happened. Had to force restart once again.

Now I'm back here, asking for help, I don't know what's going on.
I'll leave my computer on sleep instead of shutting it down tonight.

I also really need to install the SSD for work, but I don't know what happened there.


Cory Cooper

May 19, 2004
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Hello and welcome.

-Is the Mac mini still starting up normally from the internal drive?
-You are trying to install macOS on the external SSD, correct?
-When you erased it, is it setup as GUID as well as Mac OS Extended (Journaled)?
-How are you trying to install macOS on the external SSD - from the Recovery Partition?

We'll see if we can help you out,


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