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After dismissing the notifications for months I finally let macOS upgrade from Mojave to something more recent, I think Catalina. The process failed, and I get a black screen at startup. After trying many other things I bought a new hard drive and restored from time machine on there. I can boot using this external drive and I now simply want to get the stuff that wasn’t backed up. But whenever I mount the internal disk, the machine restarts. How can I prevent this?

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    Did you try to install the OS again onto your internal drive? That might work. So boot in recovery and try to install Catalina again.
    – Joy Jin
    Apr 14 at 6:38
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    Also, if you are still using Mojave on the external drive, it may not recognize the new APFS features included in Catalina. So you may have to update to Catalina on the external drive in order to mount the minimum-Catalina-compatible internal volume.
    – Joy Jin
    Apr 14 at 6:40
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    I don’t want to erase the data on the internal disk yet, I’m trying to recover data before. 2nd point is good to know, thanks!
    – mrtnmgs
    Apr 14 at 17:36
  • If you don't erase the internal disk, installing the OS alone will keep your data.
    – Joy Jin
    Apr 16 at 3:31
  • Installing on the internal disk would erase it, the installer formats the disk prior to installation. I installed on another (external) drive, but I still can't access the data: when I mount the internal disk, the computer reboots in order to complete the initial upgrade and then I get the black screen again
    – mrtnmgs
    Apr 18 at 20:40

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