1) Remove your old installation of Wesnoth before updating to 1.2. Overwriting is not the right way, it will cause bugs. You can also install into a completely new folder and keep your old 1.0.x version.
2) Remove all usermade content. The usermade content from 1.0.x is not compatible with 1.2 since there were many changes. Here you will probably find the content of Wesnoth:
Windows: C:\Program Files\Wesnoth\userdata\
You should first test without any usermade content if the game works.
3) Do not use your campaign saves from 1.0.x with 1.2. They are not compatible. Better delete these saves or use them only for 1.0.x games. If you want to finish the campaign you should do so in 1.0.x or restart in 1.2.
99.99% of the bugs reported since the release of 1.2 could be fixed by these steps. So don't say "It will not help, it is Wesnoths fault" before even trying.
Sound problems: (probably fixed in 1.2.1)
If you are having problems with cracking sound, add this line to your 'preferences' file (will not be needed from 1.2.1+):
(cf. this bug report: https://gna.org/bugs/index.php?7507)
In 1.2.1 an option in the preferences was added so that you can change it ingame. The default value should now be set to 44100Hz.
All the Campaigns/Sounds are missing:
This should mainly be a Debian and Ubuntu issue since the packages were split into single packs for each campaign, sounds and so on. Just search for all packages starting with wesnoth in your package manager and install the missing ones. Packages including the term 'server' should not be needed for normal users.
Mac OSX 10.2:
This version of OSX is no longer supported by our binaries. It is not easily possible to build universal binaries that also support 10.2.x. Either you should update your version of OSX, try to compile Wesnoth yourself, or stay with the old 1.0.x version.
If you are using gentoo and experience heavy mem usage (several hundred MB of ram used after a short time) you should unmask media-libs/freetype since there is a bad memory leak in the gentoo patched freetype 2.1.10-r2 (cf this bug report in the gentoo bug tracker). To unmask this version of freetype you have to add =media-libs/freetype-2.2.1* to your /etc/portage/package.unmask and update the package afterwards. Keep in mind that this package is still marked as unstable so you probably have to use these commands:
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echo "=media-libs/freetype-2.2.1" >> /etc/portage/package.unmask
USE="~x86" emerge -1 freetype
Afterwards your version of freetype should be up to date and the memleak in Wesnoth should be gone. If you don't want to take these steos you have to wait for the gentoo devs to unmask that version of freetype (they have not done so for quite a long time already)...
If these things did not solve your problems you can post problem reports. In these reports you should mention your OS (Windows, MacOSX, Linux (which distri?), ...) and the Version you are using. Before saying that you have a problem, make sure that it is not caused by usermade content like campaigns, eras and stuff like that. Yes, it is possible to break Wesnoth with usermade content. You should be as explicit with your problems description as possible. Add the output of the terminal. When using linux, start Wesnoth via terminal, go to a stage where you have the problem, save the terminals output and post it in your report. When using Windows, copy over the content of the file stderr.txt or stdout.txt into your report.