So OS X Lion came out. I rushed to the AppStore to get myself a fresh copy and install it on my (almost fresh) install of Snow Leopard. After the download I started the installation and within no time I was all set up with Lion. Everything seemed smooth.

Then I remembered the new FileVault feature coming with Lion. A new encryption technology which would (finally) be able to encrypt the whole hard disk and would improve the TimeMachine backups. I went over to the correct system settings panel and was informed that I first had to remove the old encryption. So I did.

The next day (enabling and removing encryption can take some time) I rebooted the machine and went back to the system settings panel. This time I could enable the new FileVault. After clicking I was informed that, although a reboot was required, I could continue to use my Mac until the encryption process was done. So I rebooted the PC again.

And then nothing happened. Nothing? Well there was this grey screen with a grey apple on it and below it there was this tiny wheel turning and turning and turning. I throught maybe this is the encryption process doing some initial work, so the kernel and all are encrypted. I left it running for around eight hours. Then I forced a shutdown.

The result was the same. Booting into save mode and running fsck showed errors on the partition that all could be fixed. However as soon as I mounted the root partition the journal was replayed and the errors popped up again. My attempts at removing the journal all failed. What worked was a save boot (pressing the shift key during the boot).

I tried to boot into recovery only to find out that the recovery partition had not been installed! And no, I am not using bootcamp (which seems to be a reason for not getting the recovery partition).

My current situation is that my MacBook is foobar. I have decided to reinstall Lion completely, so I had to download it again from the AppStore (click everything with alt is the trick here) and get the dmg (it is hidden in the Lion installation app, but you can find it if you press “show contents”) on a USB.

And no, this does not remind me of Windows or Linux. This is the worst experience I have ever had.

Update: I reinstalled Snow Leopard, so I could do a fresh install of everything. With the fresh Leopard the Lion installer refused to start, talking about being unable to download additional files. To fix this I had to clean the PRAM and NVRAM.

Update: today, after 5 days of installation trouble, making backups, reformatting and waiting for filevault, I finally have a working Lion installation that works and has everything installed and configured the way I want it. During the filevault encryption I had around 5 spinning balls of death / total freezes, but it worked. It seems that the filevault encryption can put too much load on the hard disc, causing he whole system to freeze. Once it is done everything runs smooth.