I love living on the cutting edge, many times to my detriment, but it never ceases to dissuade me. So after a brief delay due to being away from home and nowhere near a backup drive (which, of course, is essential before a major system upgrade!) it was time to get my hands dirty.
One of the major criticisms of Lion has been the loss of control and the somewhat excessive wrapping in cotton wool of users. I personally have no problem with the replacement of physical media with a download, I have a small but growing collection of unwanted OS CDs and am very happy to not add to it. The download was relatively swift and trouble free and fortunately the installer gave me time to finish what I was doing before just restarting on me.
I let the installer run for reasonable period of time and nothing much seemed to happen, with the process seemingly freezing at around 33 minutes remaining with no real feedback as to what was happening. After some googling it seemed that a few people had experienced the same problem, with no definite solution. After digging into the installer logs I noticed several error messages relating to issues creating folders, so took the reasonable (and never a bad thing to do anyway) step of repairing permissions, several times. Still the installer seemingly hung at 33 minutes remaining, again with no feedback, so I delved into the logs once more. Nothing of note appeared in the error logs, but switching into 'all messages' mode I noticed something interesting. One of the options missing from the lion installer menus is the traditional disk utility and it appears the whole time the installer was 'hanging' it was actually checking/repairing the hard drive, which taking into account larger disks and any problems that may need fixing, could take some time... As indeed it was. So after waiting a little while, the installer finally completed and I was up and running with lion.
In summary, in Apples attempts to conceal as much of the internal processes to users as possible, and in their over assumptions that everyone's set up and situation is the same, this experience proves that occasionally a little more information is not only needed but necessary to those with enquiring minds.
More to follow...