Is it safe to move back to Mountain Lion?

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by TheBSDGuy, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. TheBSDGuy macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2012
    I reverse migrated from ML to Lion months ago because there seemed to be too many problems with too many applications and performance problems with ML. I started off with 10.8.2, then upgraded to 10.8.3, and although some bugs were fixed they weren't all fixed. ML seems to be picky about older hardware, which is what I've got (2009).

    In any case, when I reverse migrated, I backed the ML partition off onto a FireWire drive by cloning it via Disk Utility. This is a really, really old FireWire drive (2003, to be exact) and I'm surprised it's still working. In any case, I updated it to 10.8.4 just to see if things are fixed. I'm still using Lion, but I noticed that the FireWire drive was making some odd sounds. I took out my copy of Scannerz and tested the drive and the historical profile of the drive is WAAAAAAY off. The latter is supposed to be a sign of impending failure. This is a FireWire drive so I'm not getting SMART status on it.

    Just to be safe, and if worst came to worst I used Phoenix and made a Phoenix Boot Volume on a USB flash drive so I can re-install ML quickly if I need to.

    I'm using the ML partition now and it's still least for now. I figure if worse comes to worse and the drive actually dies on me I can use the Phoenix Boot Volume to re-install the OS and then migrate everything from another partition.

    Here's what I've noticed that seems to be fixed with ML:

    • Memory management seems better. Once in a while, particularly when Safari was using Flash it would go balistic. Sometimes Safari Web content would go ballistic as well. This now seems under control.
    • Spotlight doesn't seem to wart-hogging it up all the time. This was probably my biggest complaint, and it seems a lot better.
    • Using Activity Monitor it seems more efficient.
    • Some of the older Apple Apps that I imported from a series of upgrades now appear to be working properly. They used to crash on exit, now they terminate least the few I've tested do.
    • Notes now seems to be working. I don't like the idea that I need iCloud to transfer from it but I can tolerate it. Before it was crashing all the time. Now it looks like it's working properly.
    • Erratic delays are gone or at least greatly improved. Previously, sometimes I could click on the dock to launch something and it would pop up instantly, other times it might take 10 seconds. This was REALLY annoying, especially if I wasn't running anything on the system.

    I liked ML, but couldn't tolerate the bugs and some of the performance problems. Now they look like they're fixed, but I want to make certain before committing. I can't stand Lion and was seriously thinking about reverse migrating back to Snow Leopard if ML wasn't working. I'd prefer moving forward, not backward. Like I said before, I liked ML, I just wasn't interested in putting up with its faults.

    Any thoughts or opinions from anyone out there? In particular, can you think of any quick tests I should run on the system to verify how well it's working. I need to get it off that hard drive, which I'm sure is on it's last legs. I know ML works great on systems but not others.

  2. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2012
    That's really a subjective question in my opinion. For example there's a thread on this section of the forum called "Mountain Lion Sucks":

    and another called "Downgrading from mountain lion back to snow leopard":

    so my guess would be the problems the OS has with some systems are obviously not fully resolved.

    Then there's this article dated April 2, 2013 named "Snow Leopard is Still the King of the Mac OS X Jungle":

    I think I saw that same article, or a similar but earlier version of it about 6 months ago and at that time it was just about a 3-way tie, with Snow Leopard leading a little, followed by Mountain Lion, then Lion. Now it looks like Snow Leopard has gained some popularity back and ML is in 3rd place. To me this implies people are doing as you did, and reverse migrating, but they're reverse migrating back to Snow Leopard, not Lion.
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    For some people there are no issues with 10.8.4. I have not noticed anything except maybe longer shutdown times, but since I usually sleep the system, that's not an issue for me.

    Memory management on 10.8.4 seems fine to me. Better than it was on 10.7.4 for me.

    If it's working for you now, stay with it.

    As a side note, the Smart Status isn't always a good indicator that a drive is good. My internal drive said the Smart Status was okay even up to the point where the drive totally failed. There are other indicators that a drive might fail (which the drive was giving me) so I was ready for it.
  4. TheBSDGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2012
    The transfer is complete. I'm now using Mountain Lion. The performance between ML in 10.8.2 and 10.8.4 is night and day.

    Interestingly, the ancient external drive that I had the ML clone stored on died a sudden death about 3 hours after performing the transfer. ML haters out there might want to take a second look at it. Keep in mind I am a "reverse migrator" from months ago (couldn't tolerate 10.8.2 at all).

    If I find more bugs, maybe I'll move back to Lion or SL, but only if that happens. Most of the problems I was seeing now seem fixed.
  5. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    May 13, 2013
    Same phenomenon as "Mac OS X 10._ killed my hard drive!"... The stress of large transfers, either from an OS migration or installation, might be the big job that pushes a degraded but still functional disk over the edge.

    Glad to hear your 10.8.4 experience is positive so far. I've been using 10.8 since the beta and have had little to no troubles aside from some third party applications dragging their feet on updates & patches.
  6. gumblecosby macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2010
    I've always told myself to only use any version of OS X on my main drive when it reaches the .4 update. I kept disliking parts of Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion until they were updated enough with bug fixes when I used them on test partitions.

    I agree with you. 10.8.4 is an improvement. Maybe the UI is not as smooth as Snow Leopard when the 3d dock is enabled on my machines but it feels tolerable now. The ram use has been optimised as my regular workflow no longer causes disk thrashing on my machine with 4gb of ram.
    10.8.4 also returned the ability to disable the internal display whilst the lid is open so that has encouraged me to stick with Mountain Lion .
  7. comics addict macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2013
    Slightly off topic but how do you disable the internal display running 10.8.4? It would be a nifty feature to have when I am mirroring my display to a TV set.
  8. gumblecosby macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2010
    To disable the internal display you need to boot your macbook with the lid closed until you reach the desktop. Then you can open the lid and keep the internal display off. This only started to work for me in 10.8.4 and Mavericks. Hopefully it works for you.
  9. comics addict macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2013
    That sounds nearly impossible to do when I have a cMBP and the power button is unreachable with the lid closed. Any suggestions ?

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