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How to Install MacOS on a Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD

Installing macOS on an external drive, like the Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 SSD, is a fairly straightforward process. This method allows you to boot macOS from the external SSD on a Mac, which can be useful for troubleshooting, testing macOS beta versions, or running an alternative copy of macOS.

What You’ll Need:

  • Mac Computer: Access to a Mac is essential as you’ll use it to install macOS on the Samsung X5.
  • Samsung X5 SSD: Ensure it’s connected to your Mac via Thunderbolt 3.
  • macOS Installer: You can download this directly from the Mac App Store.

Step 1: Download macOS

  • Go to the App Store: On your Mac, open the App Store.
  • Find macOS: Search for the macOS version you want to install and download it. After downloading, the installer will open automatically — close it since you won’t be installing macOS on your internal drive.

Step 2: Format the Samsung X5

  • Open Disk Utility: You can find Disk Utility by using Spotlight (Cmd + Space) and typing “Disk Utility”.
  • Select the Samsung X5: Be very cautious to select the correct drive to avoid data loss.
  • Erase the Drive:
    • Click on “Erase”.
    • Name the drive if you wish (e.g., “MacOS_SSD”).
    • For “Format”, choose “APFS” (or “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” if the macOS version is older than High Sierra).
    • Click “Erase”. Note that this will delete all data currently on the SSD.

Step 3: Install macOS on the SSD

  • Open macOS Installer: Find the macOS Installer in the Applications folder and open it.
  • Begin the Installation: Click “Continue” and navigate through the initial steps.
  • Choose Installation Drive:
    • On the “Select the disk where you want to install macOS” screen, click on “Show All Disks”.
    • Select your Samsung X5 SSD and click “Install”.
  • Follow Instructions: Allow the installer to run, which might take some time, and follow any instructions provided.

Step 4: Boot from the Samsung X5

  • Restart Your Mac: Click the Apple logo and select “Restart.
  • Open Startup Manager: Immediately hold down the “Option” key while your Mac is restarting to open the Startup Manager.
  • Select the Samsung X5: Once the Startup Manager is visible, select the Samsung X5 SSD and hit “Return”.

Step 5: Complete the macOS Setup

  • Configure macOS: After booting, follow the setup assistant to configure macOS on the Samsung X5, entering your Apple ID, setting up a user account, etc.

Step 6: Use macOS from the Samsung X5

  • Choosing Boot Drive: Every time you want to use the macOS from the Samsung X5, hold down the “Option” key during restart and select the SSD.
  • Default Boot: If you want to make the SSD the default boot option, go to “System Preferences” > “Startup Disk” > select the SSD, and restart your Mac.

Now you’ve successfully installed macOS on your Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 SSD! You can boot into this system whenever you connect the SSD to your Mac, making it a portable system you can utilize on compatible Mac computers. Always ensure you eject the SSD safely when you’re finished using it to prevent any data corruption.

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