Sunday, 24 July 2011

Geek alert: OS X Lion ... fail!

Yeah well.... what can I say? I was dumb. I figured that Apple are trying to make the Mac totally idiot-proof. And so I thought: why not copy the installer for the new OS X Lion that's downloaded by the Mac App Store onto an external drive, take it home, copy it back onto my MacBook Pro, and install that version of the new OS? Should be straightforward; should save me having to download close to 4Gb over my tediously slow internet connection at home; and in any case, it'd tell me if it couldn't install properly, right? WRONG. Everything went swimmingly. It installed in the advertised 33 minutes. Looked fine. Everything worked. I could use Dropbox. I could sync to MobileMe. I could change my desktop settings and other system settings. This was Apple at their best. WRONG. So come nightfall, I decided to shutdown. The next morning I duly restarted, and everything looked pretty much as I'd left it. Until Dropbox told me it didn't have permission to modify files, and MobileMe told me it didn't have permission to synchronise files, and I learned that even **I** did not have permission to modify my own files. Holy Cr&p Batman! Two days later, despite seeing other people suffering the same issues on various forums, and despite trying to repair permissions every which way (five different ways, and there are probably a few I didn't try), nothing stuck. No sooner than I'd restart and, to quote Steve Apple Jobs, 'boom' - everything reverted to the hellish chaos that I'd woken up to that morning after.

Undaunted, I sit here now having wiped my hard drive (hey - nothing wrong with doing a clean install) and with a bit of luck I shall shortly have a brand-spankingly new install of OS X Lion on my MacBook Pro. It's true that I shall have, aside from an operating system, no useful files. But that's what Apple's Migration Assistant is for. Despite having failed to get it to work in the past, I've heard it does work (so long as you first turn off all wireless connections, find a working ethernet cable, and sacrifice a chicken or two).

I love Apple. Would have been a boring weekend otherwise...

[update... All is good: I re-installed Lion from a USB key that contained the critical installer image, used Migration Assistant from my MacBook Air via ethernet cable (remembering to tell the MBP that I did not have a wireless connection, and turning wireless off on my MBA), and all went smoothly. I've been using the MBP for the past two weeks without a hitch. The pact that I made with the Devil, before initiating this process, was a small price to pay.]