OS X Lion Problems, Issues and Flaws

Not even a week has passed and it looks like OS X Lion is already having its share of issues ranging from installation problems, usability issues and a flaw that keeps users from updating iTunes to version 10.4. After reading my review of OS X Lion, users have voiced their opinions on everything that’s wrong with Lion instead of what’s right. One user even compared Apple’s latest OS to that of Microsoft’s Windows Vista. Ouch!

All-in-all, I was very excited to upgrade to Lion after reading about all the latest features for months and watching videos of beta releases trickle down through YouTube. My first problem came just after the final restart. Normally, the computer would restart and bring you into the upgraded OS for the first time, but my install went a little screwy from there.

OS X Lion bootup freeze

I still have no answer to why this happened or even why it still happens on a rare occasion, but I’ll explain it here in case someone can help me out.

After the final restart after installation, OS X booted up and I could see the desktop and the Apple menu up top, but after that, all I got was the spinning color wheel. There was no way to open Finder to perform a force quit of a hung program, I couldn’t see the dock and the clock actually froze. On a normal install, you should be presented with a welcome screen for Lion.

I had to do a hard shutdown and when it came back up, the same thing happened. I did this process about 4 or 5 times until finally, it came on long enough for me to run a software update. This gave me a Java update message which I promptly performed and everything seemed to work fine after that. I tried a couple more restarts and it worked fine. This problem might have been caused by my Windows partition. See below.

Bootcamp Partition disk startup issues

For those that have Windows partitions for use through Bootcamp are experiencing an error stating Apple Bootcamp “This disk cannot be used to start up your computer.” To fix it, you just open up Disk Utility (Hard Drive -> Applications -> Utilities), choose your hard drive, click the Partition tab, and resize your Mac partition to be 128MB smaller. Click Apply and you should now be able to install Lion without issue. (You can resize it back when you’re done, too.)

Solution found by LifeHacker.

iTunes won’t update in OS X Lion

iTunes LogoI found this out while doing a software update. I was alerted to update things like iWork and some remote desktop stuff along with iTunes, but every time I ran the update, it would fail. I decided to update the items one by one until I found that it was iTunes causing the update to fail.

I began the long search on Google looking for people that had the same problem and there were a few ideas:

  • Download iTunes directly from Apple and install it
  • Create a new administrator account and install iTunes from there
  • Perform the Repair Permissions fix from Disk Utility
  • Login as root and install from there
  • Downgrade to Snow Leopard, install iTunes and upgrade to Lion again

All of the above steps have worked for some, but not others. I’m amazed that Apple hasn’t come forward to help those of us who have this problem. Since iTunes is so closely tied to OS X, you would think that installing this software would not be a problem or at least Apple would fix this first among other things going wrong. For my computer, I’ve tried all of them except downgrading and installing as root. I’ll try the root option first and report back.

Double updates for the same app

I just learned about this one today, but it seems at least one user has experienced Software Update showing 2 of the same updates for iTunes:

OS X Lion duplicate updates

Dual monitor setup blanks out 2nd monitor

It looks like one of the new features in Lion actually breaks another. Lion allows you to make your apps run at fullscreen without tool bars and status bars simply by click on the little double-arrow icon in the upper right corner of the app window.

However, it seems that Lion users with a dual-display setup are having issues where doing this for an app in one window will actually blank out the other screen entirely. This completely contradicts the purpose of the dual-display option.

My two cents

As with almost every new software title, especially operating systems, you’re bound to experience some problems, but I guess I’ve been spoiled all this time with how Apple’s software often just worked. I remember how my last two OS X updates just simply installed with no issues whatsoever and how smooth the transition was for all of my apps and so on. It was because of this past, that I didn’t even think twice about purchasing and installing OS X Lion.

I guess I can’t really complain because there have been a lot of things I’ve tweaked out on my system and all of my friends who have upgraded seemed to have skated by without any of the problems I mentioned above. I’ll just keep working on the minor issues I have and go from there. In the meantime, if you haven’t upgraded yet, don’t let me scare you away—OS X Lion is really a great update to an already great operating system!

33 thoughts on “OS X Lion Problems, Issues and Flaws

  1. let's not forget the absence of Repeat key !! hold down any key and…ta-ta….no repeat !!!

    1. You can easily fix this by opening up terminal and copy paste

      defaults write -g ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false

      and press return.

  2. Thanks for your article!

    I also have huge basic problems with Lion on my Macbook Pro. For example:
    1) it's impossible to load and view youtube movies online in Safari…so I downloaded Firefox
    2) It's impossible to load and listen to music on Soundcloud…so I had to download the App. Unfortunatly this offers less possibilities compared to soundcloud online.
    3) My battery seems to live for 2 (Lion) instead of 4 hours (snow leopard)

    Also, I miss spaces. How do I move a program from space one to two in Mission Control? The simple fact that I have to find it out all over again makes me angry…I buy an upgrade to improve working on a mac, not to search online for problem solvers. Worst upgrade ever from Apple. Note that I am one of the lucky ones who's Mac didn't freeze during/after the upgrade.

    1. I can't halp but I can say how disappointed I am with my new MacBook Pro that came with Lion installed. Still have to forces quit mail and you are so right about the repeat key, that is as much a pain as the force quit. Had I known, I would never have purchased the new one and hung in with my good ole white MacBook. I also don't get grief from "friends" about emails looking wierd with unwanted characters. Then I read that I cannot update iTunes. this is going from bad to worse. Can you reinstall Leopard on the new MacBook Pro???????

    1. Yes, i have the same problem… i frequently have to restart the computer in order to reset the internet connection.

    2. Internet has become painfully slow. Software updates crawls. Safari takes ages to load a simple page. I've disabled the firewall and dutifully followed or hints found out there, but nothings works…

  3. My Ipad crashed and after installing os lion a reset is impossible . Had no problem with Leopard.
    The information gives nr 40 and 9 as default . What to do ?

  4. My upgrade to Lion was not seamless, as I had expected…unfortunately. I migrated over from Snow Leopard and the initial upgrade seemed to go smoothly, Virtual Machine and all. After a day, I decided to upgrade the Windows XP on my Virtual Machine in Lion on the Microsoft website (should have done this before). After fooling around with this for a while, I didn't touch the computer until the next morning…and then it happened!!! All the permissions were hosed in Lion—I couldn't empty the trash, rearrange the desktop, or even save a document without putting in a password. Super Duper couldn't even recognize the Mac hard drive in case I was thinking about using my clone. In a short while, my computer would have been totally unuseable. I still had tech support with Apple, and with their help I was able to do a Time Machine restore from outside the OS. All is OK now, but I removed Virtual Machine for good—don't really use Windows anymore, so why bother with that—and I don't miss it! Since then, all works perfectly and Lion is very stable and FAST! I don't know why or how, but IMO, any form of Windows running with Lion as host gives the "big cat" a big hairball!

    1. Yeah, I blamed my initial problems on having a Windows 7 partition through Bootcamp. However, in time, all of my issues had been resolved on their own. Even the iTunes issue seemed to fix itself. One day I was on it and I got prompted for another software update, which I reluctantly performed and sure enough, it actually installed! At this point, I haven't had any issues with OS X Lion since then and my Windows 7 still works great–although like you said, who uses Windows anymore?!

      Anyway, did the Apple Geniuses give any insight as to what my have actually happened with your permissions issue?

  5. Not really too much insight from the Apple guys about how all of this happened…They did notice, however, in the Finder / Go / Computer / MacHD / User/ area that some how all of my permissions we're changed to "read only." Of course, we tried to change the permissions to "read and write," but the permissions still wouldn't work. It was a really nasty problem, and I'm glad everything works fine now…moral of this story for everyone is to do your Time Machine backups…one other thing…this was a wired backup, not a WiFI backup…seems that Lion has tightened the specs for wireless devices… Apple has changed the way file services work in Lion, and the result is the inability to communicate with many network storage devices… this is particularly bad if you are using these devices with Time Machine…another little adjustment.

    1. Interesting revelation about the network drives. Fortunately I use an old fashioned USB drive for my backups! That's a very interesting issue you had going there. I remember back when I upgraded to Snow Leopard, the only problem I had was a permissions issue related to Terminal. Every time I opened, I got an error saying I didn't have permission to use it. I was scared thinking that somehow my only user account lost its Admin status. I can't remember exactly what I did to fix it, but it was something to do with changing permissions on Terminal. Who knows, but whatever I did fixed it and I hadn't any other issues with OS X until Lion came out.

      I'm glad you got it all resolved and thanks for sharing your story!

  6. I have a question. The other day, my brother installed the new Mac OS X 10.7 Lion on my MacBook, and my Windows Partition doesn't boot anymore…Do you think there's a way I can get it back? I'm not sure if it's completely gone…But I had a lot of videos and other important stuff that was on there…It says "disk0s4" and it's not mounted…

    1. Let me ask you this first. When in OS X, can you see the Windows partition in the list of Devices on your Finder window? If so, you should be able to access the files. From there you can make a backup of the videos and other files you want and then you can start working on solutions to the problem. I'll look into it as see what I can find out.

  7. No, it doesn't even show up. When I go to Disk Utility, this is how it looks…

    Screen Shot: http://i55.tinypic.com/2navcjp.png

    I have no idea if the files are still there…I hope that they are…Do you think taking out the hard drive and plugging it up to a Windows computer will help?!

    1. I think you could at least try to take it out and plug it into a Windows system. It should be able to read the partition if it's still there.

      I also saw your post on the Apple forums…have you tried what one person said; to attempt a boot of the system with your Windows disc and see if it can find/fix the partition?

      Before doing that, I'd take the drive out and see if Windows can even read it.

      1. Alright man, thanks. I'ma try that and let you know what happens…

        Hopefully there's some kind of solution…To where I can at least get SOME of my files back…

  8. I did not like the way it changed the Mail interface! The icons were archaic, flat with no description, and no color or depth. It also does not allow you to save your last choices to send to multiple users! You have to re-select your choices all over again, another step I don't need to do!! Snow Leopards mail is far superior!

  9. Since installing Lion, I am having serious trouble trying to print. Occasionally, I am able to print a 1 page document, if I attempt to print another, the operation does nothing but show the pinwheel. I am unable to do anything at that point dealing with print, or trying to look at System Preferences. My computer is an iMac, 4GB Ram, i TB on board disk, 2 1TB external hard drives. I have san HP Photosmart 8450 (shared) and a Dell 3110cn Laser networked via ethernet (LAN).

    1. I just did a repair file permissions, after the upgrade and noticed a lot of wrong permissions for printers, may this could help you, check it out…

  10. I just recently upgraded to Lion from SL.8. My 1st issue was no mouse response, slow keyboard response. after the installation, everything went perfectly fine until kernel panics happened with safari, chrome and just for being on for a few minues… installed the 7.1 update and it's slightly better. Doesn't crash as much…
    …however the latest problem since yesterday, is that I cannot access my lion shared drives from my windows computer. I tried turning on and off the firewall, reboot on both systems, reset the network completely and no dice.
    Although Lion is nice, I may revert to SL until Lion is improved.
    The Windows 7 virtual machine with parallels works flawlessly as well as most software, but the web browsing does feel a bit laggy, specially with safari.
    Hopefully the most important issues are solved with the x.7.2 update.

    1. I've heard about a lot of people having all sorts of system slowdowns after upgrading. I noticed it too and I think it's related to the feature that allows you to restart while bringing up the exact point where you left off and also Versions. Both of these features seem very memory-intensive.

  11. Ever since I've updated to OS X lion, two of my apps automatically open at login even though the 'open at login' option is not checked. Any ideas on how to repair this?

    1. make sure the light is off under each icon on the dock station before sutting down,except finder,that stays on

  12. Having problems with "Save as" in Photoshop, and Word. Have lost some files that I had LOTS of time invested in and it really pisses me off! When saving…….the little color wheel spins and spins and spins……..forever.

  13. I already updated on oct 15 and i still get the boot up freeze, sometimes it won't happen sometimes it will.. what i have noted is that when it will freeze in the user login window it will not recognize the wifi and that is when it freezes i do nor know why it keeps happening but it is really annoying, any thoughts? suggestions? any help would be appreciated.
    thanks for reading

  14. I've seen that happen a few times with mine, but for some reason it went away and now I've never had a bootup failure since. I don't know enough about what's changed with OSX to be able to tell you what's causing it, but you may want to try a fresh install. There are guides online that can help you make a hard copy of Lion so you can re-install OSX.

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