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Since Mountain Lion was released today, we thought it would be useful to pass on some common issues that have been cropping up, in case your install didn’t “just work.” While some problems may require more in-depth support from your friendly neighborhood genius, many issues can be resolved by over-the-counter tech support voodoo.
The most frustrating problem is, unfortunately, something we can’t help you resolve ourselves. Users are reporting the error message “The code you entered is not recognized as a valid code” or that it has already been used, despite the code’s authenticity. According to MacRumors, this issue is most often due to a glitch caused by Apple releasing their Up-To-Date update program early, although it is also possible that another glitch in Apple’s authentication servers is handing out duplicate install codes. If you have this issue, phone up AppleCare and they should email you with a working code.
Other problems are more exotic. Gizmodo’s editor Jesus Dias, in addition to being less then impressed with OS X 10.8, found that Mountain Lion caused bugs in his Macbook Pro Retina which were not experienced in 10.7 Lion. These bugs pertained to the display and user interface. If you notice you notice a disappearing cursor, garbled animated gifs, unusual artefact’s in QuickTime, and slowdowns on a fully-loaded system… you may have a hardware-related problem.
A frustrating problem that can often only be solved in retrospect is missing files. (The usual solution: back up your files before a major OS upgrade.) Luckily, as with previous versions of OS X, many missing apps will have been moved to a folder called Incompatible Software. This handy, scarcely promoted feature is sure to frustrate Mac users who were not aware that they will need to buy more apps.
If you have more mundane problems, such as an unreasonably slow startup or occasional system hang-ups, you might want to try an Apple tech support mainstay: Reset the PRAM, NVRAM, and System Management Controller. This may resolve RAM and cache issues, as well as unusual lag and battery drain.
To clear your RAM and NVRAM (This may also reset your system’s clock, depending on your device model.)
1) Shut down your computer.
2) Turn your computer on.
3) Before the grey screen appears, hold the following keys: Command-Option-P-R.
4) Hold down the keys until the computer reboots and you hear the startup sound
As for the SMC, Apple suggests only using the method after you’ve verified that normal methods of troubleshooting do not resolve the issue. (I’m going to assume you know enough to put the computer to sleep, restart, then shut down, see if issue still occurs. Jiggle the powercord.) There are three different methods of resetting the SMC, depending on your model of Mac.
Resetting the SMC on the Macbooks with removable batteries:
1. Shut down the computer.
2. Remove the battery and magsafe power adapter.
3. Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds.
4. Reconnect the power adapter and battery, then turn on the computer.
Resetting the SMC on portables without a removable battery (such as the Macbook Air):
1. Shutdown the computer.
2. Plug the Magsafe adapter into the Mac and a power source.
3. Press (on the left side) Shift-Control-Option and power at the same time, then release all the keys at the same time.
4. Restart your computer.
Resetting the SMC on the Mac Pro, iMac, or Xserve:
Shut down the computer and unplug it from the wall for 15 seconds. (I know. It’s a really drastic measure.)
Let us know in the comments section if this article saves you the trouble of reinstalling Mountain Lion or visiting the Genius Bar. If you have other issues or fixes for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, feel free to share them too.