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OSX Lion - any feedback?
Thread poster: Aude Sylvain
Aude Sylvain  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:00
English to French
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Dec 18, 2011

Hello,

I work with a MacBook Pro early 2011, 8 GB RAM, which came with Snow Leopard and on which I installed Parallel in order to use Trados Studio. Everything worked very well under that configuration.

I updated the OS to Lion in October 2011 (after the first update).
While there are a number of features I like in Lion, I am having endless problems with this OS, despite a re-installation in November (restoration of Snow Leopard then brand new installation of Lion).
A number of apps are hanging or crashing as soon as I launch them (Mail, Preview, Office 2011, Finder (!), etc.), it is impossible to do Time Machine backups, the autonomy of the machine was divided by 3 or 4, I can't switch it off in the normal way (I always need to use the button)...

I am aware of the numerous flaws of Lion as advertised online, but I also saw a lot of positive feedbacks.

I am now wondering if the fact that I use Parallels (version 7, optimised for Lion) could create problems on its own.

Do any of you have a good experience of Lion associated with a virtual machine so far? As far as I could see Lion seem to be running much better on machines on which it was pre-installed - i.e. machines bought after July 2011. Did you experience that?

Many thanks for your feedback,

Best regards
Aude


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François-Xavier Pâque
Belgium
Local time: 14:00
Member (2010)
Russian to French
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I use VMWare Fusion Dec 18, 2011

I use VMWare Fusion, just upgraded to v 4 with OSX Lion, which I bought after buying the one and installed on Snow Leop, and it works perfectly,

I have about the same config (mac pro 2.3ghz 8 go Ram) and have encountered no major problem so far. Are you up to date in your updates ? There have been quite a significant amount since Lion was launched.


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Aude Sylvain  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:00
English to French
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TOPIC STARTER
yes, I made the updates Dec 18, 2011

Hi François-Xavier,

Thank you. Yes, my version of Lion is (supposed to be) up to date. I made all the updates when prompted, and I am told that my version is up to date when I connect to the App Store. I cannot check the version I actually have since I am currently reinstalling the system through Time Machine (I had a major crash this morning...) but I think it is 10.7.2.

However, to me there was only one update around October, from 10.7.1 to 10.7.2, when they introduced iCloud etc... I can't remember any other update since that date. Did you download any more recent update?

Merci !


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Alexander Chisholm  Identity Verified
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Italian to English
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Time machine backups Dec 18, 2011

I have more or less the same configuration and my MacBook was purchased with snow leopard and I upgraded to lion.

All my software (including parallels, Windows 7, Trados 2007) works fine, but I was having a number of problems shutting down - often the meachine would just hang indefinitely during shut-down and I would have to use the power button to force shutdown. I tried MacCleaner etc. which helped a little but the problem was only truly resolved when I disabled automatic backing up with time machine. Since then, not a single problem.


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Hans Lenting  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Member (2006)
German to Dutch
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Is TimeMachine the culprit? Dec 18, 2011

the problem was only truly resolved when I disabled automatic backing up with time machine. Since then, not a single problem.


AMOF I only run TM once a week, manually started, every sunday.

Perhaps a good idea to temporarily disable TM?

(I didn't mention it before, but I also have 8 GB RAM.)

BTW: Why did you start this thread twice?


[Edited at 2011-12-18 10:14 GMT]


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Aude Sylvain  Identity Verified
France
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English to French
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Time Machine Dec 18, 2011

Hi Alexander,

I disabled the automatic backing up several weeks ago but this didn't solve any problem... In my case the laptop would be looking for the Time Capsule for hours, literally, without finding it - although it did appear in the Finder.


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Aude Sylvain  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:00
English to French
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TOPIC STARTER
Time Machine Dec 18, 2011

Hans Lenting wrote:

the problem was only truly resolved when I disabled automatic backing up with time machine. Since then, not a single problem.


AMOF I only run TM once a week, manually started, every sunday.

Perhaps a good idea to temporarily disable TM?

(I didn't mention it before, but I also have 8 GB RAM.)

BTW: Why did you start this thread twice?


[Edited at 2011-12-18 10:14 GMT]


Thank you Hans,

In fact I cannot connect to the Time Capsule any more. The laptop would be looking for it for hours, with no success. I do make manual backups on an external HD now, but then we lose what makes the very interest of a Time Machine/Time Capsule incremental backup.

(I have no idea why my thread appears twice! Surely a mistake from my part. I saw it immediately after posting and asked Emanuela to delete the other thread, I can't do it myself...)


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Claude Koch  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:00
German to French
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Nothing's better than a proper installation Dec 18, 2011

Hi everyone,

I heard many people complaining about Lion but I must say that I had no problems with this O.S. after putting it on my iMac (2009) and my Macbook Pro (2008).

The best you can do is not to make an update but a real new installation of Lion. You can after that restore your files and programs from Time Machine which works very well with the new operating system.

Best regards

Claude


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Aude Sylvain  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:00
English to French
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new installation Dec 18, 2011

Claude Koch wrote:

The best you can do is not to make an update but a real new installation of Lion. You can after that restore your files and programs from Time Machine which works very well with the new operating system.



Hello Claude,

Thank you. I am not sure what you mean by real new installation. I was under the impression that Lion was meant to be installed over an earlier OS (e.g. Snow Leopard), especially since it is not really sold as a "standalone" system (and even the price is far lower than those of the earlier new systems). Or do you mean creating a bootable USB device and then installing the system from that device exclusively (booting the machine from there and not from the HD)?

Many thanks,
Aude


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Fülöp Sterczer  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:00
Lithuanian to Hungarian
os x lion Dec 18, 2011

to be honest, parallel can make some trouble as well

a clean install of lion, as mentioned before would be the best idea. Thats the long run. Or you can try a 2nd user account - if it works you have luck.

The clean install would mean you start up with cmd+R and then delete your macintosh partition. after that you simply choose reinstalling lion and it'll download the package again.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718

hope this helps.
best regards,
Filip


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Alexander Chisholm  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:00
Italian to English
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Time Machine Dec 18, 2011

The only problem I had was time machine. As I said, I disabled auto-backup and all was well.

I didn't do a clean install: the machine came with snow leopard, I upgraded to lion, and then installed parallels and Win7.


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Aude Sylvain  Identity Verified
France
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English to French
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- Dec 18, 2011

Thank you both - and thanks Fülöp for your explanations.

Reading the whole thread, I wonder whether my problems might come from the fact that I upgraded to Lion while Parallel, Windows 7 and all Window applications were already installed - and running properly! - since months.

Alexander,
when you make your weekly backup, are you able to proceed with an "usual" TM backup (update of the relevant files), or do you have to do a copy-paste of all your files each time like you would with a basic external hard drive?
And is your laptop able to identify your TC by wifi, or do you need to use an Ethernet cable?


I had to make a complete restore from the Time Machine this morning (my computer was completely stuck and unable to find the VM). After 10 hours, the laptop is now back to Snow Leopard since I intended to re-install Lion from the App Store.
I guess that at this point it may be quicker (on the long term) to go for a clean install.


Thanks to all of us for your help, much appreciated.

[Edited at 2011-12-18 19:18 GMT]


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Adam Podstawczynski  Identity Verified
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Polish to English
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More input Dec 19, 2011

Aude,

I think there are a few points in this thread that need to be clarified.

First, the problems you are experiencing do not seem to have anything to do with Parallels or virtual machines.

Second, they do not have to do anything with the type of hardware you have -- your 2011 MacBook Pro is as perfectly suited for Lion as the ones sold with Lion pre-installed.

Third, Lion does not have to be installed over Snow Leopard. You can install your Lion as purchased in the App Store on a clean hard-disk without any operating system. An example on how to do this using a USB memory: http://www.redmondpie.com/how-to-make-your-own-os-x-lion-bootable-usb-flash-drive-tutorial/

I would suggest proceeding as follows:

1. Backup the things that are important to you, but not only using Time Machine, also by simply copying to another disk. In particular, copy the Windows virtual machine (one huge file, usually in Parallels folder in your home directory, with .pvm extension; all your mail; all your documents, photos, etc.

2. Proceed as in the link above and make a _clean_ install of Lion, i.e. from scratch on a clean hard disk.

3. Do not restore anything, just use Lion for a few hours and adjust preferences to your liking, and see if you still experience any problems.

4. Restore gradually thing by thing. Also, install a fresh copy of Parallels (you are entitled to download your copy, since bought it), and copy your .pvm file from the backup. Run it and see.

If everything works good, then fine -- your problems were probably related to messy upgrade and leftovers from Snow Leopard. If you start experiencing problems at step 3, then I suspect a hardware problem; most likely a faulty memory chip. Lion uses memory much more extensively compared to Snow Leopard, so a hardware glitch which you have had since the beginning may have only been made apparent now, after installing Lion. In that case you need to return your MacBook Pro for testing and repair.

[Edited at 2011-12-19 05:30 GMT]


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Aude Sylvain  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:00
English to French
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clean install Dec 19, 2011

Hi Adam,

Thanks very much for your detailed explanations.

Proceeding this way is rather "extreme", to be honest I hoped I could handle things in a quicker/more simpler manner (I've been using Macs since more than 15 years and everything had been pretty straightforward up to now...), but I assume this is the wiser course of action.

Re your point 2, "clean install on a clean hard drive", apologies if my question is stupid but it seems to me that there will always be an OS installed anyway. It will be deleted once I install Lion ( e.g. from a bootable flash drive), but I can't start from a totally clean HD. Am I missing something?

Many thanks again,

Aude


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Adam Podstawczynski  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:00
Polish to English
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Installation on clean disk Dec 19, 2011

Aude Sylvain wrote:


Re your point 2, "clean install on a clean hard drive", apologies if my question is stupid but it seems to me that there will always be an OS installed anyway. It will be deleted once I install Lion ( e.g. from a bootable flash drive), but I can't start from a totally clean HD. Am I missing something?



Hi Aude,

Yes, you can start from a clean disk, with no OS installed, and this is what I would actually do if I were you. Simply to eliminate the possibility that your problems are related to Leopard -> Lion upgrade path.

When you prepare a USB Lion boot drive as described in my link (or any other Lion boot media, e.g. an optical disk, another hard drive, etc.), you will have a means to install Lion from scratch. There is even an option to clean your hard disk before installing: soon after booting Lion from the media you prepare, but still before starting installation, you will have access to a tools menu with Disk utility. From the Disk utility, you can clean format your MacBook's internal hard drive. This will delete all data and any leftovers from Leopard. Then, having a clean disk like this, you can proceed with Lion install.

After you install Lion this way, your computer will be no different from brand new MacBooks sold with Lion pre-installed by Apple.

The procedure is time-consuming (but not 10 hours as in your case with Time Machine ). And you will have to install your applications, set preferences from scratch, etc. But this will help you narrow the problem to either hardware issue or Leopard->Lion upgrade issue. Also, this effort will likely give you a faster machine; for many people Lion works slower when installed over Leopard.

When Lion is installed on Leopard, many parts of the system, its applications, settings, caches, etc. are preserved. The reason for this is to make the transition from one system to another as smooth as possible for most users. However, the developers have no way of checking all possible configurations before releasing a new system, so problems like yours happen from time to time. Therefore, in such cases, the best way to know what to blame is to install Lion on clean ("primed") disk instead of on old system.

Before you decide to do this, remember to copy your e-mails, documents, the Windows virtual machine, and other important stuff to another hard disk; and don't do this using Time Machine. Time Machine has its own problems too, and people are experiencing problems with Time Machine when switching from Leopard to Lion.

If you decide to go this way, have a smartphone or another computer with Web access ready, and feel free to ask for any help on your way.

[Edited at 2011-12-19 09:21 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-12-19 09:26 GMT]


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