Did you upgrade to Mountain Lion by installing directly over a previous install (Lion, or Snow Leopard)? If so, this may be the cause of all your problems. It might also be the case if you used the Migration Assistant.
Though it may be galling, my recommendation is to perform a clean install of Mountain Lion and then add your software and data manually (making sure you have sufficient backups first, of course).
If you do this, you should find yourself with a more stable and far less "horrible" experience. This is the process I followed and I've only experienced those bugs that were genuinely caused by poor coding (Parental Controls in particular) and not a flawed installation process.
Yes, it's a pain in the backside, but it's worked for me since Panther (10.3).
On the other hand, you can trawl the Discussion Forums for fixes. Either way, properly installed Mountain Lion is a stable, productive and user-friendly OS and well worth the $20 you paid. It's worth the perseverance.
Currently Being ModeratedOct 13, 2012 11:15 AM (in response to Scotch_Brawth)
Thanks, but ideally an "update" is just that. Starting "anew" in order to "update" seems a bit oxymoronic to me.
Anyway, I just tried to change from one user to another user. It wouldn't log on to the other account. I tried three times, and then logged out of user 1, to see if it would work that way. Logged out (after force-closing mail), and then tried to log in to user 2. I received a message that said "unable to log on user 2 because there was an error." Wow! So helpful!
So I shut the computer down and restarted (for the second time of the day and I haven't eaten lunch yet). After restarting, I was able to log onto user 2.
I said it before and I'll say it again: "If I had known Mountain Lion would be so horrible, I wouldn't have upgraded even if Apple had paid ME $20."
- Not all of the programs transferred over. In fact five programs stopped working.
Not all programs that worked with previous versions of OS-X will work with Mountain Lion. You can check a website called roaringapps.com to see if you happen to have any of the ones that don't work.
- it freezes all of the time! Programs crash.
See my comment for above. Also check to see if any of those programs are starting up when you login.
- The computer only sporadically communicates with the printer.
Is this a new symptom? What printer model?
- It loses the WiFi signal at home and at work (apropos of nothing)
- I have to reselect the network and re-enter the WiFi password every time I open the lid
- The email program won't close. It won't even force close
- Safari freezes everytime I try to open a PDF within Safari
- the search function is about as useful as a $2 coin.
Sorry to hear about the problems you are having. Just so that you know, things can work. I upgraded from Lion and have had no problems at all from day one (as have the vast majority of folks who upgraded). So, be assured that it is not Mountain Lion by itself that is causing the problems. There are other interactions with your system going on. So start with getting rid of (or updating to a good version) the apps that don't work with 10.8.x and see what happens.
Let is know if anything changes.
Mountain Lion isn't an update, but an upgrade. You yourself termed it this way in your original post.
Apple's process for installing a brand-new OS over a previous one (which is what you're doing) has always been problematic, as has the Migration Assistant process. I said it would be galling, but a clean install is the process that offers the opportunity of having the most stable, bug-free experience. Yes, it will take time, and it'll annoy the heck out of you; but at the end of it you'll have a system far less prone to the issues you're experiencing—none of which I'm suffering from myself.
If you're still inclined to fix your current install, then follow silvergc's advice and make sure you have the latest updates to all your software, and bear in mind that ML is stable for a great many people who have followed either your upgrade process or mine. By hook or by crook, you will eventually get the OS you're looking for.
Oh, one last thing: AppleCare have begun to sound more and more like the Windows XP support service: whether you like it or not, they more and more frequently simply advise users to re-install the OS from scratch. So, the advice you're getting here is no better or worse than Apple themselves would more-than-likely supply.
Good luck wrangling things back to normality.