So I have a mid 2012 MacBookPro running Mojave and it's fully upgraded (SSD and 16gb RAM). I accidentally ran system updates and that led to an error and now every time I try to boot it gets stuck on the white logo screen with no progress bar.

I have a 1TB external drive that has a Time Machine back up on it but the problem is I haven't backed it up in the last few months. I would really like to recover the files created in these past few months. What would be the easiest solution to recover them?

My process so far: I bought an additional 2tb external hard drive. I booted up in Internet Recovery Mode, unmounted the internal hard drive (SSD), and created a new disk image from Container disk2 (the container for the internal hard drive) to copy onto the 2tb external hard drive. I had to use this method because the regular option "Copy From Macintosh HD" was greyed out. That worked and I'm in the process of verifying it in Disk Utility to make sure there's no errors. I really want to ensure that the files that I want are going to be able to be opened though. So before I restore the old Time Machine backup (from the 1 tb drive) and open the .dmg file (from the 2 tb drive) I'm thinking I should reinstall the OS in Disk Utility onto the 2tb external hard drive. Then I boot up off that and check to see if the Disk2.dmg correctly copied and I can retrieve my files.

Does that seem like it would work? Open to other suggestions as well. Thank you!

1 Answer 1


I would recommend a different approach to avoid unforseen problems and make it more predictable:

Install macOS on the external disk and boot from it. Mount the internal disk and copy files over manually to a 3rd location - either a separate APFS volume on the external disk or a 3rd external disk. Once you've copied and verified all files, wipe and restore the backup on the internal disk.

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