98 times out of a hundred the OS X Lion upgrade will go swimmingly. But if it doesn't good backups are the only thing standing between you and a world of hurt - as I found out the hard way.
It's taken over 12 hours to achieve an OS X Lion upgrade due to various problems that most folks - with a single disk system - would never see. But I have a Pogoplug with a USB drive, an Iomega 4 drive NAS, a FireWire system disk clone, a FireWire Time Machine disk, a sweet DHK RAID 1 eSATA/USB dual drive array, a USB3.0 FireWire & eSATA drive dock and a 4 drive Promise Thunderbolt array.
In the dark my office looks like a small village of green, blue and yellow blinky lights. And to Lion it looks like a mess.
Woe is me I downloaded OS X Lion from the App store like everyone else - but then I did something different. I copied the downloaded file - Install Mac OS X Lion - to several different disks just in case I needed to reinstall it. And I also burned a bootable dvd.
Lots of copies protects your data.
I started the install and then went out to dinner. When I got back Lion was installed and sitting at the login screen. Just 2 problems: my account wasn't on the screen; and the password for the account that was didn't work.
I was locked out out my own machine.
After booting from my Snow Leopard system disk clone, I installed Lion again, using one of the extra copies of the installer I'd made, on a different partition, and ended up about the same place.
I then wiped the partition, did a clean Lion install and did a careful account setup. Rebooting into Lion and checking for software updates I then brought up Migration Assistant to move my accounts, documents and apps from the system clone to my new partition.
After that completed I rebooted and voila I still didn't have my old account to log into. Then logged into the temp account I'd set up and discovered that the old Accounts preference pane had morphed into Users & Groups. My old account was now in groups and I could not log into it or give it admin privileges.
The System Preferences help page was not helpful. Playing with the options - not recommended unless you have good backups! - I found that by right-clicking on my old account I got a couple of choices including "Add User or Group".
I chose to add a new user to my new account and used the name of my old account and the old user folder name. Lion then asked me if I wanted to use the old folder for this "new" account. I said yes and after a couple of minutes beach ball time, the new account was set up.
I rebooted, logged into my new old account and - finally - had access to all my data. Whew!
The Storage Bits take I had serious problems with a Snow Leopard upgrade too. This time the problems were more easily solved, but I'm beginning to believe that larger systems like mine have more problems.
Now that I've upgraded I like the new OS, but there are niggling details with some apps that I'll be looking to get resolved. But I didn't have to reinstall Final Cut Pro this time!
Courteous comments welcome, of course. Remember folks, The Universe hates your data. So backup, early and often!