I had this same spinning ball at login when I tried to do anything after the desktop displayed. It did not seem consistant but I eventually hit upon the relationship with the times I unticked the open wndows checkbox in the shutdown dialogue and the spinning ball. I found that if I unticked the checkbox, Lion froze. If I left it checked Lion started and opened my eyeTV app.
Now, I have MySQL installed and the autostart feature does not work because of permissions. Since I don't want it to start every time, I was happy to get the message at start-up telling my that MySQL has not been started due to lack of permission. I just clicked OK and it went away.
I thought that this message box might be conflicting with the lion code that was stopping things from starting. So I tracked down the MySQL start up string and moved it out of the StartUpItems folder (/Library/StartUpItems...). Problem solved.
Apple probably needs to test this to verify but it might help identify problem areas for users.
I had the same problem (not able to log in, beach ball keeps on spinning, even after hard reboot). This was solved (at least temporarily) by resetting the SMC, see article http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964.
My 20" iMac (early 2008) is having this same problem. I just reset the SMC... we'll see if that helps.
I just bought the new MacMini 2011 hoping to improve the performance of my old MacBook and... what the ****! It's going worst than the old laptop... The loggin screen takes much more time to take me to the desktop and I suffer a lot of beach ball problems with a lot of my apps. At the beginning I thought it could be due to the fact that I used Time Machine to bring all my old files to the new computer, but now I read comments about other people having the same issues...
I really hope someone in Apple is taking care of this annoying issue. I used to like OS because of this outstanding performance and response but this is quite below my expectations...
Here is my 2 bit fix.
Open lid and wake laptop up.
Click on my User acct.
if lucky then password prompt appears, else ..
cursor become spinning ball,
close lid again ..
count to 5
open lid again, you should see the password prompt slide across the screen
now the 50 / 50 part ... the laptop may now turn around and fall right to sleep ( since you did close the lid ) .. tap keyboard and laptop wakes up again.
and like everyone else .... this needs a fix ... please
I've tried all of the suggested "fixes", but ... my Mac still freezes on me. I don't get, may be it's the version of the mac, the software, whatever ... Honestly, getting tired of having to observe everything it does. So, I'm going back to SL. Money lost on Lion, but until dramatic improvements are made I don't see the point of switching. I know it's not on the subject matter, but I got angry with my Mac. First time ever.
Had the same issue with login freeze (April 2010 MBP 15"), disabling the automatich graphics switching seems to fix it for now. Quite relieved to find I'm not the only one with this problem, thanks everybody for posting on this.
One thing possibily related: yesterday I closed the lid after work (as in Sleep mode, something I do almost every day), only to find out at home that my MBP had been heating up to quite an extreme temperature. Couldn't hold it for more than 3 seconds! Really don't want to think about what could have happened if I'd left it in the bag until next morning...
I'm not entirely sure if this heating up problem has to do with the login screen freezes, but fact is that I've never experienced this while on Snow Leopard.
Nothing worked also to me (April 2010 MBP 15"). It is really a SHAME that Apple is leaving Lion customers alone... I need every morning more than 5 minutes to try to log in correctly on my mac. Moreover I heard Time Machine is no more compatible with SL, so the downgrade is not flawlessy! Shame! Shame! Shame!
I had the same issue with my MBP Mid 2010 i7 as described in many posts before (freeze, kernel panic, spinning ball). With Snow Leopard no problems at all; the problems started after the Lion update. Deactivated the AGS and it seemed to work well but I was not satisfied with this solution. Tried to start several times in Safe Mode and everything worked fine. Then checked out the login items and had the following in there. Sophos UIServer, Adobe Resource Synchronizer and VMware Helper. Deleted the Adobe Resource Synchronizer in login items and since 4 days (with AGS checked) no more problem at all. Hopefully this helps...
I notice that if I type is my password really quickly (once the login screen appears) I can avoid the problem but that means I cannot leave my laptop while it is starting up.
Not sure if this is related but I often find Spotlight re-indexing from scratch, I do believe it happens whenever my system hangs.
Hopefully a fix is coming out.
Just chiming in that I have the same issue. This is the first time I've ever had to hard reset my MacBook too. Repeatedly. As a new Apple user, I was hoping I'd finally move beyond having to deal with crap like this.
I've tried the F12 option, and I think it only worked sporadically, managed to stop the beach ball a couple of times, but if you neglect to log in after a while, F12 has no effect.
Also tried closing the laptop and opening, but didn't work either, at least not from a cold start (I havent tested it in sleep mode yet.)
Has Apple even acknowledged this bug? Or do they just like to keep us all in the dark about these things where our only recourse is to light a candle and pray to the patron saint of Apple for mercy?
BTW, does a hard reset do any damage to the MacBook? I've had to do this several times now and I'm wondering if I might have corrupted any software as a result. Is there any way to check?
A bit funny to post a reply to my own post, however ... I got so upset that re-installed the operating system from scratch with disk erase (bare in mind I have an early 2008 MacBook). So, first installed Leopard and made sure that I ran all updates, until the system said - your system is up to date. Continued, with the Snow Leopard upgarde and again ran on all update, until the system said - your system is up to date. Only then installed all my software and transferred my files to the computer (I have copied all the files, no back up with Time Machine). Made sure that SL works fine, by using it couple of days. I have checked on Apple's site that on July 25 they have launched SL update (http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1429 - check the description of the update), that update I have made now as part of the described process. Previously, I have installed Lion on July 21. And ... made one more step - few hours ago installed Lion. A week ago it took Lion 10 min before it crashed. Now, few hours later - it runs smoothly. It starts and shuts down a bit slower than SL (my Mac a bit old), but runs just fine for now. I've also read that it takes some time for the computer to run some indexing and it should be expected that initially it should run slow. And as a final touch - I'm in finance, so these are the obervations are based on pure trial and error
Apple!!! Fix this!!!
I have been stung bad by this, and I am writing this in the emergency partition. I just cannot get past the spinning indicator/beach ball on my MBP 2010.
I can't even get in enough to change the settigns as has been suggested.
I did repair the disk and repaired permissions in the Lion emergency partition. No help. I am locked out of a healthy disk! And...how do I download an update if all I have is the emergency partition?
Again, Apple, this is prioroty one! There are thousands that are affected, judging by the frequency of the posts here and elsewhere! A bad start to a good update.