OSX Lion Is Here! Sort Of.

I woke up this morning after an unusually restful night. I was ready to take on the world, hit the gym, install Apple’s operating system upgrade, and order a new laptop for my upcoming tour.

As a loyal Apple citizen of the world, I launched the App Store on my MacBook Pro and clicked the Lion upgrade. It downloaded quicker an I expected, considering the 4 GB file was probably being downloaded by thousands of people, and away it went. I let it do it’s thing while I cooked breakfast, then that’s when my day got bad. Real bad.

First, a little background: I am not a typical user. I live on the bleeding edge of all things tech. I run developer betas on my iPhone and iPad. I’ve swapped my MacBook Pro’s primary hard drive out with a super-fast SSD using a kit. The DVD drive is gone, and I shoved a terabyte hard drive in the slot instead. This is probably the root of my problem.

I’ve been having SSD issues for a while. Sometimes, OSX will just not boot, and I have to repair permissions to get it logged in. That’s not a huge deal. The time saved by the SSD’s speed more than makes up for weekly Disk Utility visits. But now, oh now, things are just plain janky.

Lion rebooted fine. It looks good. I love the new Mission Control and even like the “natural” scrolling (I’d been using Scroll Reverser for a while, so it wasn’t really a change for me). Launch Pad is a great way to see your apps (and a reminder that you really don’t use some of them…), and the new app-switching gestures are a real time saver. Then I tried to open stuff…

  • Safari launched fine. I love the full screen UI, but wouldn’t load https secure pages.
  • I ran Software Update, which downloaded everything, then gave me a terribly unhelpful “Unable to update applications at this time” message. Then crashed.
  • The App Store would launch, but not connect.
  • Dropbox had me locked out.
  • I couldn’t access my Address Book.
  • Mail crashed immediately.
  • iTunes wouldn’t launch because Lion thought I didn’t have access to the disk the iTunes Library is on.
  • Upon reboot, the command-R Recovery trick loaded the screen, but the touchpad didn’t do anything, so it’s worthless.

After repairing permissions, verifying disks, and resetting every setting I could find, I went the reinstall route.

I tried reinstalling iTunes, but because I run a developer version of the software, I had to re-download from the Developer Site, which is secure, so it wouldn’t load. So, I switched to trusty Google Chrome, which crashed immediately, as well. Guess what? The Google Chrome download page is https as well.

I’m currently reinstalling Lion, and will let you know how it goes. I’m sure all of these problems are due to me upgrading my hard drive to an unofficial SSD/hard drive combo and Lion having trouble linking the application files on the SSD to the data and Library files on the hard drive. I may have to go back to the single hard drive set up, then re-migrate to SSD using the process I used last time.

Am I worried? No.

I’m not in any way in danger of losing data. I’m a hawk about backing up, using a combination of Dropbox, Google Doc’s fantastically cheap file storage, Chronosync, Time Machine, and Carbon Copy Cloner. In addition, all of my data is on a completely separate hard drive from the OS and the Applications, which are on the SSD. Lion could hose the entire drive and my data is safe and sound over on the east end of the MacBook Pro. Worst case scenario, I’ll have to reinstall some apps, but I need to clean my apps out, anyway. I upgraded this machine first, because it is the least critical. I use my iPad for travel, mostly, and just ordered a new MacBook Air for the road. All the podcast recording and developer work is done on my iMac, so having my MacBook go down for a day or two isn’t convenient, but won’t kill me.

Lesson of the day:

Back Up. A Lot. And if you decide to tinker with your hardware, expect the worst from your software.

##Update After re-running the Recovery Thing, and letting it load (about 5-6 minutes!), I ran disk utility and repaired/verified everything. All seems to be working now!