14 Replies Latest reply: Oct 15, 2011 2:58 AM by Ewan Lamont
EJW Tas Level 1 Level 1

I posted this information on macupdate a couple of days ago. To date, I haven't found any solutions to any of the problems listed below.


At the moment, the preferred solution involves a large hammer and small pieces of what was a MBP 13"...

Any insights, solutions and assistance welcomed!


Edited post follows:


The train smash that is Lion…


Here is an inventory of several days problems, frustrations and brick walls that I have encountered in what can only be described as a train smash, ie OS X Lion.


Before all the mac fan-boys flame me for daring to criticise Lion, these comments are provided constructively - if anyone has solutions to any/all of them, I am sure that others will be as grateful as I would be.


As a long time Mac user (since the mid 1980s), I have extensive experience and expertise with all flavours of Mac OS since the days of System 6. I have collated these notes (a) to identify common problems that many are encountering, and (b) in the vain hope that someone at Apple (and Microsoft) might actually read them and think about their user base. I installed Lion first on Mini (2010) and all went ok, so I installed on MBP 13" with 4gb RAM.


The major issues/problems/brick walls are:


Wireless network

1. Massive problems with my wireless connection. I have a 2nd generation Airport Extreme BS running wireless network. Under Snow Leopard, it was an 802.11n only network. Lion fails to see the network and I have had to alter the wireless settings to 802.11n (b/g compatible) before Lion would connect. This has seen a decrease in the transmit rate from 300 to 130 (at best), with a massive increase in transfer times for large (50 – 150mb) files on the network. Many people elsewhere here reporting similar loss of wireless connectivity. OS X Daily lists a number of solutions but none worked for me: http://osxdaily.com/2011/07/22/wifi-dropping-in-os-x-lion-fixes/


2. Dropouts on wireless common. When the network dropped in the middle of file transfers to drives mounted via the BS, it hangs the Finder. Comprehensively. A hard reboot required and the much-vaunted ‘restore’ feature didn’t. The setting for ‘restart when crash’ was merely a decoration as it had no effect on the behaviour of the mac.




There are so many problems with the Finder, it deserves its own category of destruction and mayhem. Two biggies, also reported elsewhere here but no solutions posted:


1. The Lion Finder List View of a folder has a minimum window size that is 11 lines (files/folders) deep. So if you have a folder with one file, in list view, you get 10 blank lines – a massive waste of space on any machine/screen, and especially so on a 13" Macbook. My default setting is to see file name, modify date and file size – in list view, this takes up approximately 10% of my screen real estate, even if there is only 1 file in the folder!

Score 1/10 because not everyone uses a 27” screen.


2. The finder fails to remember any settings for folders’ views. Some of my folders are set for list view, some for icons, depending on what I am working with. Finder throws away all my preferences and settings and decides all are to be viewed in a randomly-sized window in icon view that has absolutely no bearing or relation with what I had set. My settings are lost within a short period of time – I don’t need to sleep or shut down, Finder just decides that my settings were optional and discards them.


I NEED to have multiple folders in view simultaneously - the Finder-that-wants-to-be-an-iPad can't do what I need.



Fonts and Font Book

Between MS Office and Lion, there are almost 500 fonts on my computer. It may sound crazy, but I don’t need the hundreds of Asian fonts, I don’t go to the www.Swahili-Times.com and I don’t need the various flavours of chinese. I use around 40 fonts for my work.


Ok, so FontBook allows me to switch the fonts off I don’t use – except FontBook sits there for 2 minutes (timed) with the spinning beachball while does something, I know not what. I have a font collection of the 370+ fonts I disable. It takes 4 to 5 minutes to disable them. They show up as disabled then FontBook resumes spinning its ball. If I dare to click on another collection, another 2-3 minutes of spinning before the contents are displayed.


A recent behaviour I have now seen multiple times - when I click from one collection to another, all the font collections I have disappear from the list on the left hand side. I have to re-boot FontBook to see them again. This is repeatable.




Preference Panes

I have stopped trying set my personal preferences for the system prefs – most don’t stick/survive through a sleep or restart. Sound settings, sleep settings, screen saver settings etc etc all random, irrespective of what I set. Amazing to watch preferences un-set themselves while watching pref panes open... Lion Finder/System has a mind of its own!!




An issue from the past has returned – I used to have problems with Spotlight CONSTANTLY re-indexing my HD under SL. As soon as it was finished, it would resume. Easy solution – disable Spotlight. I dared to think it might be improved under Lion. Alas, the re-indexing is continuous and I am sure I can cook eggs soon on my mac, its so hot - no longer a 'lap'-top.



MS Word

Under Lion, Word’s behaviour seems to have worsened in a manner not mentioned on the MS web page listing known issues with Lion. MS Word loves to spawn swap files, even if there are no word files open. Just sitting there, Word spawns 128 or 256 megs of swap files within 3 to 4 minutes of being opened. If I should dare to open a file, the body count starts at 256 megs and advances rapidly.  All this when Word is the ONLY app open and I have 4 gigs of RAM, with more than 2gigs of RAM FREE! My opinion of Word can only improve into the future because it can’t possibly get worse.




I am sure there is more fun to come as I delve further into Lion, but after 6 days of this, I am regretting installing Lion and I wouldn't wish this train smash on anyone.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • misswalker Level 1 Level 1

    Haing similar problems and their driving me crazy!!!

  • Mart19 Level 1 Level 1

    These problems sound all too familiar! I have a relatively new imac (8 months) and since the lion upgrade has made it almost unusable.

    Many of my problems appear to stem from incorrect folder permissions. Many of the applications (not just finder) simply refuse to remember any user settings. It persistantly opens iPhoto and Mail everytime I login (even though I deselect the reopen apps checkbox when logging out). etc. etc.

    Running the repair permissions ultility didn't help- it found lots of unexpected UCLs (!?) but reported them fixed, however they simply all reappear if I run it again.


    What did help a little was to ensure my user id had read/write access & the owner of the ~/library folder and then applying to all enclosed items (fixed my address book preventing any updates to cards).

    In the end I did this also for the "Macintosh HD"- and seemed to fix the issue of Finder not remembering settings, however it gave me a whole stack of other error messages, eventually forcing me to reinstall Lion. as such I wouldn't recommend trying this...

    Touch wood after the install, it's working a little better, however all other users accounts still have persistant problems.

  • G J Piper Level 1 Level 1

    I am having the same issues with a brand-new MacBook Pro 13" that came with Lion. I used the Migration Assistant to gather the user from an older eMac running Leopard. Now none of the settings stick, and bluetooth turns on no matter what afwer a restart. Tried Disk Utility repairing disk (no damage), Repaired permissions, did "fsck -f" from the unix single-user mode -- nothing seems to fix it.


    I, too am a professional Mac user and have 20 years of experience repairing, configuring, and operating them. This is quite frustrating.

  • dwb Level 7 Level 7

    Your wireless problem is well known and if I could figure out the common denominator I'd make a lot of customers happy campers. What is really crazy to me is that my best friend and I both have 2008 15" MBPs that are stock - we've done no upgrading. He has all kinds of WiFi drop-offs and I don't. He almost never reaquires WiFi without manually turning AirPort off and on and I never have a problem. He wiped his drive, reinstalled Lion, and didn't migrate. It immediately failed to reconnect to WiFi after restarting. Wierd.


    I don't notice any difference in Finder windows between SL and Lion. I've been frustrated with the Finder in OS X from day one and have just decided to live with its foibles. Long ago Apple detached windows from folders and the best I seem to get is a generic setting for each view: icon, list, and columns. Apple added a Kind into the Lion sorting mix that seems pretty unuseful to me.


    I have about 450 font families in my fonts folder and I'm not seeing the beachball on either of my systems. Have you tried clearing out the font cache? Or are you turning them off while a program that uses them is open? That could be the problem. If you update your fonts while Word or Pages (and some other programs) are running, they will update themselves as the OS tells them the fonts are no longer available. This isn't new to Lion but was aggrevating enough in previous versions of the OS that I've not tried to see if it is worse or better in Lion.


    Preference Panes aren't a problem on my system - my preferences are sticking. But see below for more information. Spotlight also doesn't seem to be causing me any trouble. I did have some issues with Spotlight and Mail but after rebuilding each of my mailboxes that problem was fixed.


    I've not see Word propogate swap files - but then I've not looked for that issue either.


    Now for the promised see below for more information. The first installation of Lion on my MBP was an utter and complete disaster. Being experienced, I knew to look for and delete haxies and to remove plug-ins that might be incompatible. I also made sure all my software was the most up to date version. Then I performed the standard upgrade. The computer was dead slow. Programs crashed. Finder didn't remember settings. Sound familiar? I was cursing a blue streak because I'd started my desktop upgrading about 20 minutes after starting the notebook. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise because the iMac upgrade was totally successful. That proved to me that Lion wasn't the dog I was beginning to think it was. So I wiped my hard drive, reinstalled Lion and migrated. That solved most of my problems and a little more fine combing through the library for things that needed updating or removing did the rest.


    Not saying Lion is perfect yet but I can say that except for your WiFi problem which is a known issue, I'm not seeing any of the rest of them and neither are a lot of other people I know who are using Lion happily.

  • AcadiaRush Level 1 Level 1

    My new 8 core Mac Pro with Lion arrived August 29 to replace an older Mac Pro with Snow Leopard. It took four days to finally get things moved over from the main hard drive because of problems. I held up the transferfrom the other 3 drives and am glad that I did. After a bad optical drive was replaced, constant Finder problems have been occuring which appear to revolve around permission conflicts. In essence, the Mac OS on my Mac Pro is schizophrenic and apparently, it is in need of a frontal lobotomy.


    I do a large amount of photography using the HDR technique so it is importatnt to arrange image icons in specific orders within folders. We have all gotten used to having icons in the same place or configuation in folders each time we open them. This gives us a feeling of consistency. Unfortunately, because of some overlooked programming issue, the Mac OS Lion is confused as to what permissions it should pay attention do. While working, icon arrangements are constantly changing causing many hours of additional work without let-up.


    I have also noticed related problems with new software upgrades. They work fine at first, then all of a sudden, they do not. Exported slideshow videos in Lightroom now appear completey black. In Dreamweaver CS 5.5, I can connect to the ftp server but am not allowed to upload. I am stuck in limbo, not being able to migrate all my work over from the older computer because all folder icon layouts will be destroyed if I start working in them. It has also created licensing issues because now softwares are on two Mac Pros and a laptop. The latest tech support request is to either erase my new startup disk and installing softwares one at a time, or consider installing the more stable Snow Leopard. Has anyone figured out an answer? I have never had such a bad experience with an Apple product in over 20 years.

  • UK-Max Level 2 Level 2

    For my part the WiFi issues were frustrating to the point of despair, but I noticed when away from my desk that they didn't happen. The difference when at my desk was that I had an external drive connected for time machine.


    The wifi failures/hangs/disconnects are 100% reproducible for me by connecting the time machine drive. I now connect manually twice a day, and do nothing but the backup for a few seconds, then disconnect again. No real hardship, but I'd prefer not to.


    I know this isn't everyones experience, but it may help some if their circumstances are similar.

  • dwb Level 7 Level 7

    It would be interesting to see if 1. That drive causes problems with other computers and/or 2. Another brand drive causes the problem. Actually testing with another cable would be good too.  It makes sense that electrical interference would cause wifi problems.

  • bfmcmillen Level 1 Level 1

    One thing I can add to all this oddity is I have a brand new iMac ... 16 gigs, 27 inches, yada yada. I tried to stream itunes to my airport expres as I always did with my old iMac and nada. I rebooted and there it was but would later try again and couldn't. Some error message -15000 whatever. Frustrating. So for no reason at all I looked at the Firewall which wasn't turned on. So I turned it on and added iTunes to the bypass list.





  • bfmcmillen Level 1 Level 1

    That was a temporary fix. In teh end, I had to remove my wired keyboard and mouse and replace them with my old bluetooth set. And I had to turn Iv6 to link-only.  There is still sometimes a delay and periodically I am still getting dropped signals.

  • lupunus Level 4 Level 4

    EJW Tas wrote:


    Wireless network

    1. Massive problems with my wireless connection. I have a 2nd generation Airport Extreme BS running wireless network. Under Snow Leopard, it was an 802.11n only network. http://osxdaily.com/2011/07/22/wifi-dropping-in-os-x-lion-fixes/


    2. Dropouts on wireless common.

    -> 1) Given the Extreme run the latest (7.5.2) Firmware:

    Go back to 802.11n only by choosing "802.11n only (5GHz) - 802.11n only (2.4GHz)" on the Radio Mode settings in the Extreme. (Holding option key (alt) while click on the drop down)

    If you use a iPhone choose "802.11n only (5GHz) - 802.11b/g"

    Give the 5GHz a dedicated name (urgent)

    Disable "Guest Network"


    Switch OFF the wifi on the Mac

    Uncheck "Ask to join new networks"

    Delete the 2.4GHz name (SSID) from the list of "known networks" on the Mac and eventually delete the corresponding keys from "Keychain Access"

    Reboot the Mac

    Join the 5GHz 802.11n



    If you have upgraded to Lion from 10.6.8 try the following too.

    Switch off wifi on the Mac.


    Then go on and delete the files mentioned below.


    You will find the files on your system drive (not your home folder) as follow:

    (Because you are using Lion, the Library is hidden. You have to use (menu bar) "go to" -> "go to folder" on finder to access them.)







    If there are files in this folders with the same name but additional .orig at the end, delete them too.


    It is possible that not all mentioned files are on your system. That will be ok.


    The files will get newly created by system on reboot.


    For that reboot the machine.

    Join your wireless again.




  • EJW Tas Level 1 Level 1

    thanks for your efforts but AEBS still broadcasting and nothing runing Lion 7.2 can connect to it

    absolute ***** situation from Apple - mac laptop running mac software unable to talk to apple hardware

  • UK-Max Level 2 Level 2

    dwb wrote:


    It would be interesting to see if 1. That drive causes problems with other computers and/or 2. Another brand drive causes the problem. Actually testing with another cable would be good too.  It makes sense that electrical interference would cause wifi problems.

    Hi - Apologies for the late reply. Rude considering you were good enough to make a suggestion.


    I tried another external HD and got the same response. In the meantime I've updated to 10.7.2 and the problem is significantly improved - perhaps solved. I say perhaps because I have had the odd wifi problem,  < 4 or 5 times, and each time it quickly self-fixed.


    I'll keep monitoring

  • dwb Level 7 Level 7

    Thanks for the reply - I just threw the questions out because I saw a hint of aa pattern and hoped to tease out a bit more info. These issues can't be random - got to be reasons, right? Part of my methodology is looking for patterns. Glad your problem seems solved...just wish it were solved for more.

  • Ewan Lamont Level 1 Level 1

    I have a desktop icon associated with my Canon c5050 camera and which I renamed "Phots". Since the Lion update it is empty and I can't delete it. I can't find it when I search for "Phots" in Spotlight, so it is invisible to the computer. "Get info" is empty. When I plug in the camera a second icon appears titled "NO NAME" and I can work with it.