Exact same happened to me.
1. Trashed apple.com.systempreferences.plist (in Library)
3. Issue still present
4. Booted from install disk and executed Disk Repair
5. Issue not resolved
6. Deinstalled Adobe Flash
7. Issue not resolved.
Conclusion: Im not at my computer now otherwise would paste console report. Im not an expert but suspect it's a bug! Have reported to Apple.
This morning (Sydney EST), I clicked on to System Preferences and seems to be working OK now.
Not sure what changed between yesterday and today, though I had left system preferences in "Hang" last night (in other words I didn't do a forced quit when it seemingly froze).
This morning was able to change wallpaper no problem and was able to go into other system preferences and have a play around.
I hope someone with more wit than I can make sense of all this.
Thanks - mfbe
I found your suggestion also in another forum and it worked for me!
I had to enable viewing the Library folder first as Lion by default hides it. There are other posts on this.
Trashed the apple.com.systempreferences.plist and also trashed another file by the same name but listed as locked.
didn't even reboot and re-opened System Preferences without a hitch!
No beach ball as yet....!
It has to do with a problem accessing the images on the home>images folder. To solve it, just move its content (iphoto library included) to another place. Then, restart System Preferences. Moving your iPhoto library to another location seems to fix the problem. I am sure Apple will issue an update to correct this problem. But, for now this seems to work for me.
One week after downloading 10.7.2 a problem with system Preference.
I often change both screen and Screen saver to amuse my wife. All was well untill today when entering System Preferences to change screen. System Preferences froze, Beach ball , Had to Force Quit, Time after time it froze .
While waiting for help on the telephone with Apple, I checked out other application including IPhoto. I then checked out System Preference and it work perfectly.
Could I have shocked something, See if it works for you.