Mac OS X Lion has arrived!
And a couple of quick fixes…


After months of anticipation, Mac OS X 10.7, codename Lion, has finally been released today (7/20).

For only $29.99, you can download the upgrade from Apple App Store.  I have to say, when I first saw the upgrade price a couple of months back, my jaw dropped.  That’s a change from the $100+ upgrades I am used to seeing from Microsoft…  A very nice and welcomed change.

Without any hesitation, I purchased, downloaded and installed Lion today.  Before the upgrade though, I followed these pointers to prep for the install.  I also checked to see if my existing apps would work in Lion.

The Upgrade

The whole process took about an hour — the 3.5 GB download took about 30 minutes (may be longer… I wasn’t paying attention), and the install took about 30 minutes as well.  All in all, it was pretty painless.  The startup of the laptop (2011 Early Spring Mac Book Pro) took about 30 seconds, which is about the same as Snow Leopard.  Upon reboot, I noticed the login screen has a different look — a bit more artsy.  Mail looks different and has some new features.  All my apps seems to be loaded and running fine.

These are apps that I installed on my Mac Book Pro

A Couple of Hiccups…

I did run into a few issues… They are all fairly minor so I am not complaining.  But I do want to point them out…

  • Solver for Excel keeps crashing:

    There was this weird little app called Solver showed up in the Launchpad (which, by the way, I’m starting to like a lot) that I had never seen before.  Nor I was able to find it in the Application folder.  Clicking on it not only started the Solver app, but also Excel for Mac 2011.  And then Solver crashed.  Every single time.  I could not find it on, so I did a bit Googling, and found that Solver is actually an add-on for Excel.  I looked around the Solver’s website and couldn’t find anything regarding Lion compatibility.  So I decided to get rid of it — I never use it anyways.  

  • Removing apps from Launchpad issue:

    I tried press-holding Control+Alt+Command when clicking on the Solvers icon in Launchpad — I was told that’s how you remove apps from Launchpad.  But all that did was to start the app (which then promptly crashed).  After a little more Googling, and found that apparently there’s a new way of removing apps/icons from Launchpad.  Well, none of my apps has an “x” in the upper-left.  What gives?  I was also for sure some of the apps are Mac Store Apps, but may be not…  Or may be because I didn’t install those apps from the App Store?

    I ended up removing Solver by going to Applications –> Microsoft Office 2011–> Office –> Add-Ins and delete all the Solver related files (2 total).  Once I did that, the Launchpad updated automatically and the Solver app is gone.

  • Unable to “Click the lock to prevent further changes”:

    I know in Snow Leopard, some of the system preferences unlock automatically when the admin user (i.e. me) opens it.  I was going through some of the preference settings and tried to lock them… No go!  The settings would not lock!  Panic!!!!

    Luckily the fix was really easy: Repair Disk Permissions!  I figured it probably had something to do with user permissions, so I went to Utilities –> Disk Utility, click on the Disk to be repaired, and then Repair Disk Permissions.  Even though I did that prior to the upgrade, something must have gotten messed up.  After the repair was completed, I am able to lock my settings by clicking on the little padlock icon again.

  • Little Snitch installation was messed up:

    When I tried to start Little Snitch, I received an error saying the app installation was corrupted and prompted me to reinstall the latest version of the app.  I know as a fact from that Little Snitch would be compatible, so I was a bit surprised.  But once I reinstalled the app, everything was fine again.

As I said, the upgrade was pretty painless with a few little issues here and there.  But all in all, all my apps seem to be functioning fine, and all my user settings were transfered over to the new OS (as far as I can tell).  I think it’s worth $30 of investment, especially I’m learning all these new features and improvements that the new OS brings (more on those later).

To download OS X Lion, simple visit the Mac App Store by click the App Store icon on your Dock or in the Application folder. app-store-icon

  • Macguy

    I had the same problem with this Solver app showing up in Launchpad.  My would also crash when i clicked on it.  Like you said only App Store apps can be deleted off of Launchpad from within Launchpad.  I just moved Solver to the second screen where my Office Apps were and put it in the ‘Microsoft Office 2011 (other)’ folder.

  • Solver is a Microsoft app used by Excel as an Add-in tool (you have to manually set it up through the Tools menu to use it and for it not to crash).  You’ll find it in the Microsoft Office folder/Office/Add-Ins.  If you don’t use it you can trash it, but if you do, move the Ad-Ins folder out of the Mac Applications folder (I put it in a new folder in Utilities).  Then re-set up its use in Excel by navigating to the new location.  It will then still work in Excel but not show up in Launchpad.

    • Thanks for the tips!  As it turned out, the Solver add-in was reinstalled (or at least the files were re-added) back to my Mac after I did an update on the MS Office 2011 for Mac.  And the Solve icon was back in LaunchPad…  Basically I can’t get rid of it because each time I update MS Office the files get reinstalled. 🙁

      So what I did was moving the Solver icon in LaunchPad to the MS Office “folder” in LaunchPad where all the other MS Office add-ins and tools are.  Out of sight, out of mind! :p

  • Hatley

    Solver is an incredibly useful tool, used extensively in school to help find optimum solutions — think of it as a tool that automatically tries thousands of combinations so that it finds the best value given the constraints defined.  In any case, to resolve the crashes (if you want to ever use Solver), simply open a spreadsheet in Excel for Mac, click on Tools/Add-Ins and select “Solver.Xlam” — should be listed right there in the menu but currently unselected.  Once you click the box, click “OK”.  Now if you ever select Solver from the Launchpad, it should open both Excel and Solver.  You’ll no longer crash but you’ll need to tie in some documents to avoid a little pop-up message about No Active Document.

    • Thanks for the tip! I still don’t use Excel enough to find Solver useful myself, but I’m sure others who do use Excel extensively will find this helpful!

    • Hugh

      hi all,thats fine if you can open up excel,but my 2011 with lion simply crashes whilst word and powerpoint are fine.

      • Have you tried uninstall and reinstall Excel or the entire MS Office suite? There might be more serious corruptions in the files caused by the upgrade… Good luck!