Having Trouble Installing OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion? Common Issues And Fixes

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.

Why Upgrade To OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

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.)

Why Upgrade To OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

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.

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  1. MacAddict says:

    Super disappointed Mountain Lion doesn’t support Airplay for macs older than 2011…

  2. agree 100%, only downfall. but def worth the $19.99 for everything else

  3. strangely I could not burn the DMG file to DVD because it kept telling me that there is not enough space on disk. DVD is 4.7 and the image file is 4.05 GB. What just happened?

  4. Daemon Blak says:

    I upgraded to Mac OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion in the morning. When I got home and plugged into my TASCAM US1800 audio interface, the USB connection light was on and I assumed it worked, but when I went into sound properties on my MBP, it wasn’t visible. Tested by playing some music. It didn’t play through the TASCAM US1800. Reinstalled the drivers and rebooted numerous times and Mountain Lion doesn’t see the previously working TASCAM US1800. In System properties, it shows the TASCAM US1800 connected via USB. With the drivers uninstalled, the TASCAM US1800 still shows info in systems properties. Contacted TASCAM to inquire on compatibility with Mountain Lion and a driver update. Expected my audio interface to just work like it always has with Lion. Ideas? Can I downgrade back to Lion if necessary?

  5. Michael Schnier says:

    From their website: “TASCAM is not yet qualified for use with Apple’s latest operating system OS X Mountain Lion. Please follow us for more news, and do not update your software yet while we make the necessary revisions on our end. We are working to resolve this situation as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and continued support with TASCAM. “

  6. Zach Ciappara says:

    i have a problem… my app store will not connect… although my internet connection works..
    what can i do

  7. DickieSmith says:

    I have an odd one; video streaming and other large downloads will hang after anywhere between 10seconds and 15 minutes. If it’s downloading from the app store the download time just starts growing and then sticks at calculating while nothing downloads unless I pause and then resume the download. For video streaming it just stops buffering until I restart the stream.

    Any thoughts appreciated. So far have renewed DHCP lease, changed Wireless channel, tried to see if plugged into ethernet was any better (a little but only because it would download more in the same time before it stopped), reinstalled from time machine and a clean reinstall of everything. Nothing has worked yet. 

  8. I have a similar problem with video streaming. Apparently some users had success removing and re-installing the latest Adobe Flash. But I still wonder what to do since I don’t have flash installed separately (using Chrome).

    I’m also having an issue with my sound card. Apparently Mac OS 10.8 wont recognize it at all. My 2009 iMac is now a mute.

  9. Michael Schnier says:

    Compression, IIRC. The standard bootable install file will not fit on a single layer DVD because the default mapping won’t support apple’s compression (or maybe it’s just wasted by the default file system, I forget which). If you choose the option “single partition – apple partition map” it will fit on a standard DVD, but it will take a long time to boot up. You’re better off tracking down a dual layer DVD.

  10. C K Thakkar says:

    You need to use 8 GB Double Layered DVD.

  11. I’m getting serious graphics bugs with ML. Applications display graphical glitches (e.g. Mail), fullscreen video flickers green and grey after a few seconds (e.g. BBC iPlayer), 3D games crash (e.g. Portal 2), whole screen turns grey, etc. Seems to be a problem with the AMD graphics card drivers and when my MacBook Pro is running off the Intel GPU things seem a lot more stable.

  12. I have had nothing but trouble with EVERYTHING. Word hangs up; iPhoto not responding; had to totally reinstall my wireless printer; the new and improved calendar is the pits–and in general it’s been a HUGE pain in the you-know-what. I am SO not impressed. Ditto with the latest update to my iPhone. I want my $$$ back!

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