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Posted on Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Dave!I am writing my Thursday post on Friday morning.

Not because I wanted to or I ran out of time... but because I had to. After a full day-and-a-half with Apple's new "MacOS X Lion" installed, I started experiencing one catastrophic system failure after another. For no discernible reason, the program I was using would suddenly lock up, followed shortly thereafter by the entire system. I'd then have to do a complete power-down and reboot. Again and again. I have tried disabling every extra system extension I can find, but nothing I try does any good.

I have no clue what's going wrong. I think it had to do with the file system crashing at random and taking my entire computer with it. Most crashes happen when I am trying to load/save, but not always. This morning my MacBook crashed when I was adding an attachment to an email. I pulled up the file browser to select the files and... nothing...

Lion File System FAIL

After a few minutes of Mail going non-responsive, the program fails...

Lion File System FAIL

After a few more minutes, the Finder and everything else goes non-responsive. The system has died.

I've got a 2.53 GHz Core Duo MacBook with 4 GB RAM, so my machine is more than capable of upgrading to Lion. And yet... something is going wrong. Some hidden extension that I've got installed somewhere is not compatible. Or so I'm guessing. All I can say for certain is that I have lost an entire evening's work because of this crap.

Guess today I get to do a Clean Install.

My hope is that this will not only stop the crashing... but also solve the riddle of my slow-to-respond file system that I was bitching about yesterday.

I guess sometimes Apple doesn't "just work."

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Categories: Apple Stuff 2011Click To It: Permalink


  1. Poppy says:

    Crap. Maybe my birthday weekend project *shouldn’t* be upgrading to Lion. Phoo-sticks.

  2. Maru would be compatible with all extensions!

  3. Whall says:

    I get it!



    Bwahahaha you so kwayzey!

  4. Sybil Law says:

    Hope you get everything running smoothly soon!

  5. J.P. says:

    I’m finding OS X Lion to be less stable than I was hoping it would be and this is quite frustrating. I know that it’s wicked cheap to buy and people are having fun flicking their fingers all over the place, but I just want the basics to work.

    I’m having many of the same issues you are.

  6. Marc says:

    And you still think that Windows is a crashing pile of crap? 😉

    Good luck in getting back to a running system!

    • Dave2 says:

      Ha! I KNOW Windows is a crashing pile of crap… I still have to use Windows for work sometimes! 🙂

      The more I dig, the more I think it is some third-party extension causing the trouble. The more of them I remove (particularly older 32-bit Preference Panes) the more stable and responsive my system. Looks like it’s time for a complete reformat and Clean Install!

  7. Marc says:

    Well, yes, generally speaking, Windows out of the box (including certified, bundled drivers) is very stable as well. It’s usually crappy hardware or third-party drivers that are causing the crashes.

    • Dave2 says:

      Well, for Windows 7, that’s proving to be true for me so far (cross fingers, knock on wood). But it most certainly has NOT been true for anything that came after Windows XP. I install nothing more than the programs I need, with no bells & whistles at all (since my PC is work only, there’s no need to make it pretty!) and STILL get all kinds of problems. Windows Vista was a complete nightmare for random crashes, hangs, and errors. I’m not saying that the Mac is perfect (obviously!) but, overall, from using both Mac and Windows regularly, I find Mac to be a much more stable environment for what I do. Perhaps for people not doing graphic arts type-stuff, it’s the opposite.

  8. I was mucking around with my setup the other day and managed to totally hose the functionality of my Verizon air card under Lion. It worked fine when I upgraded, but when I uninstalled the software (wanting to use the built-in WWAN, and finding it wouldn’t work) and tried to reinstall, it refused.

    And of course, Verizon has NO Lion-compatible software update available. Have their f*cking engineers been ASLEEP for the last six months?

    So now I am faced with several choices, none of which is appealing. I can restore my Snow Leopard backup from Time Machine to get Verizon back, potentially losing Photoshop in the process (long story) and reinstall Lion. Or I can do a clean reinstall of Snow Leopard, potentially losing MS Office (since both my licenses have already been used) but retaining Photoshop and Verizon and then reload Lion, or I can just live without Verizon until they get their act together, paying $60 a month for a now-useless modem.

    • Dave2 says:

      Actually… both Adobe and Microsoft have been really understanding in the past when I’ve had to dump a system and start fresh. I’ve had to call Adobe twice and Microsoft once, and every time they’ve been really kind and helpful in getting me back up-and-running with their products (of course, getting AHOLD of somebody is a pain, but it’s nice to know they’ll be helpful once you do).

  9. bo says:

    Eesh. Good luck man. I don’t care what system you use, clean installs are never fun.

  10. the muskrat says:

    this frightens me….maybe i’ll wait about getting lion for my MBPro when the new harddrive comes sunday!

  11. Knock on wood. My upgrade was painless.

    I made sure I did a Time Machine backup, if I hadn’t I’m sure it would have failed.

    Except for the fact that my Office 2003 stopped working (it needed Rosetta, I didn’t realize it was that old) and they reversed my mouse scroll wheel, I’m loving it. The calendar needs a different font or brightness or something but so far it’s been pretty good to me…

    Good luck with the restore!!!

    My old 12 inch powerbook (my backup machine) choked the other day and I’ve totally been putting off a clean restore….

  12. Invader_Stu says:

    I hope everything works out

  13. Jodi says:

    My only complaint was the reversed scrolling. Once I figured out how to fix that, it was all golden for me. I am not, however, a power computer user anymore, as I don’t work on it like you do. Maybe I should fire up my CS3 aps and take a look. 🙂

  14. Ren says:

    The issues I’ve had thus far are:

    Swiping for forward/backward in apps that don’t support the new page swipes doesn’t seem to work well with the Spaces swiping. I haven’t fully explored the interaction, but it seems to make a difference whether I have Spaces swiping set to 3 or 4 fingers. The places I use this most are Aperture to go the next or previous image and iTunes to go back to the list of upgraded apps after reading the details of one.

    Speaking of Aperture, I’ve never had much luck in using fullscreen mode as I lose (convenient) access to some functions I use quite a bit. I suppose it isn’t surprising that this isn’t improved with the new fullscreen functionality, but I had hoped it would be.

    The biggest issue I’ve had was when I attempted to play a TiVo-transferred (via iTiVo, not the actual TiVo software) TV show in iTunes. It displayed a frame of corrupted video and completely locked up the GUI. The audio continued to play and I was able to ssh in from another system. However, attempts to kill various iTunes processes or to soft reboot the Mac were unsuccessful and I had to hard power cycle. I’ve yet to retry this activity. Luckily, this isn’t something I do often. I was just attempting to verify that I’d already finished watching the show on my iPad so that I could delete it.

    • Dave2 says:

      I have occasional swiping issues (and still hate that I can’t arrange Spaces as I want), but my major problem is system-wide freezes. I haven’t done a Clean Install yet, but I’ve removed everything I can find and am still having freezes which require a forced restart. And there doesn’t seem to be a specific cause of it. I thought it was Safari, because it seems to hang more often than others… but the app doesn’t seem to matter. It’s as if something is building up in the system and then, without warning, it fails. And half the time my MacBook fan comes on, so I’m pretty sure that it’s Lion going insane. Very annoying. I can only hope that a Clean Install fixes this.

      • Ren says:

        It seems like you can sort of arrange spaces by using Alt-Tab to switch to the applications in an appropriate order to get the spaces arranged, and then avoid Alt-Tab going forward. So far, this is at least somewhat effective for me.

        Perhaps obviously, this only works if you have that automatic space arrangement setting enabled.

        Also, I just realized that switching to apps via the Dock will also break the arrangement. Likely, only switching via Mission Control preserves it.

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