Currently Being ModeratedJul 25, 2013 7:37 AM (in response to lkalliance)
Apple's activation server is down.
I called Apple and the support team had the same issue.
All you can do is be patient.
Currently Being ModeratedJul 26, 2013 8:43 AM (in response to lkalliance)
OK, I've worked it out with the Apple support team, and it was a real doozie. Don't know if anyone else has ever encountered this, but none of the people I spoke with had ever seen it (level 1 support, level 2 support, plus whoever it would be that advises level 2). It was not the authentication problem.
Somehow or other, the central certificates that are part of the OS that recognize Apple services became invalid, or at least the system THOUGHT they were invalid. With the guidance of Apple support, I examined the system certificates via Keychain Access, identified those that were marked invalid, and set them to "always trust." That still didn't work. We removed variuos plists and configurations, hoping that reboots would cause these files to be recreated new...that didn't work.
No Apple services worked: not iCloud, not iTunes, not App Store, not even the remote access program that Apple support had me download to enable screen sharing. All of them gave some version of "cannot verify the identity of the server [something].apple.com.
In the end I had to wipe everything clean and reinstall again from a Time Machine backup. At the suggestion of Apple support, I did not use the most recent backup, but rather one that predated the initial issue that brought about the HDD replacement; it was about a week old. Except for a couple of files that rolled back to earlier versions, everything now works.
Don't know if this had anything to do with anything, but here are some minor things that I noticed:
(1) My Time Machine backups were all for OS X 10.8.4. The Apple Store team that installed my new HDD installed 10.8.3. The mechanism for importing user accounts from external sources (such as my Time Machine backup) indicated a copy, not necessarily a recovery. I would believe it if you told me that there were changes to security settings between 10.8.3 and 10.8.4
(2) There were two different mechanisms I used in the two different restores. As I mentioned above, when I did my initial restore it may have been just an import of user accounts and applications -- this was part of the first-time launch of the freshly-installed 10.8.3 OS, the part we've probably all seen where we're invited to do just that. The second time, however, was via the Recovery Partition: that tool is much more direct and offers more options. For one, it recognized all of the different versions of my system in my Time Machine backup, and gave me these options with date and OS listed. This option was not available via the first method.
So, given that no one at Apple seemed to know how this happened, it may very well be that no one reading this may ever see this happen to them. But the lesson I've taken from this is to utilize the Recovery Partition rather than the import function.