Invalid serial number problem hounding Mac OS X 10.7 Lion upgrades

By Jamie Pert - Jul 20, 2011

Earlier today we confirmed that Max OS X 10.7 was live and available to download, now we are hearing that some people are experiencing upgrade problems when it comes to the upgrade procedure’s serial number check, therefore we thought we would attempt to shed some light on the situation.

From what we can see some people are seeing an error which reads “invalid serial number” when attempting the upgrade to OS X Lion, one Twitter user (see here) suggests that this is a known database problem which Apple is working on, if you are affected you should try again in a few hours. One comment we read says “Anyone else getting “Invalid serial number” when going through the upgrading process at http://www.apple.com/macosx/uptodate?”, since then 19 people have replied, which suggests that it is not an isolated problem and should definitely be something Apple should be taking notice of.

We searched Twitter and Apple Discussions for some sort of official comment on the situation, however we did not find anything, we did spot a pattern and it seems as if people who bought their Macs more recently are more likely to be affected. You can check out a thread which talks about this particular issue over at Apple Discussions, people complaining about the problem reveal that they bought their Macs in June or July of this year. This suggests that Apple needs to update its database with serial numbers of recently sold Macbooks etc, perhaps this will resolve the issue.

We searched Twitter for recent tweets containing the term “serial number” and saw lots of reports of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion upgrade problems, it doesn’t seem to be affecting one particular model, in fact we have seen reports suggesting that the MacBook Pro and standard Macbooks are affected by this annoyance, that said we have seen no reports of iMacs being affected.

If you have experienced a serial number-related problem whilst upgrading to OS X 10.7 Lion we would love to hear from you, therefore feel free to answer any of the following question in the comments section below. What Mac are you trying to update? Did the problem resolve itself over time?

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