Monday, 22 August 2011
fixing Aperture performance by reinstall of Lion
I ran into my first ever significant Apple software update glitch over the last few days.
I've had plenty of Apple systems and versions of software but until this time every update has been simple and worked first time - often making the system snappier after the upgrade. Contrast that with my years of PC experiences where I'd sometimes have several goes at installing and then have to go through all sorts of device driver refreshes, registry hacks, Norton Utilities and maybe still find a couple of items that no longer worked.
This update glitch occurred with the new version of OS/X called Lion but only affected its interaction with Apple's own Aperture program. I'd already updated my Macbook air without any problems (I even did it when 'on the road' leaving it to install overnight whilst at a hotel in Albuquerque).
It was the home iMac that hiccuped. The install worked fine, but then Aperture started to show sluggish behaviour and to use vast amounts of memory.
I looked on the internet and found plenty of other similar comments and a few suggestions about deleting cache files and similar. The experiences from the PC era came flooding back as I thought about the effort that might be required to fix it.
There seemed to be two sets of users - those that thought Aperture now worked faster and those where it had pretty much stalled - to the point where it would not be sensible to leave it open on the desktop.
It was late evening and I didn't feel like a long 'fixit' session, so I decided to use a blunt instrument approach. Re-install the whole of Lion for a second time.
There were lots of suggestions about the ways to re-install Aperture but I decided to RTFM for this one. There's a note explaining this somewhere.
0) Ensure it is bedtime
1) Go to the App Store.
2) Select Purchases
3) Find Lion (it will say it has already been purchased and not give an option to install)
4) Click on the highlighted 'Lion' text whilst holding the option key
5) It will take you to the option to Install (i.e. as an override)
6) Click Install
7) Follow the prompts to re-install (2-3 questions)
8) Gasp when it says the download will take several hours.
9) Go to bed.
The next morning, if it's anything like my example, the birds will be twittering and the sky will be blue with little streaks of cloud.
The mac will have rebooted and be back to the screens that were in use before the re-install started.
The difference is that everything will now be working properly.