I understand your issue and assure you of a quick resolution for the same. The time variation in progress bar might take place because of particular software/hardware configuration. There may be some applications running on the background that may have higher priority level than Acronis software.Clearly they did not understand the issue because I was running from their boot CD and so there were no background applications. But to disprove the "particular software/hardware configuration" nonsense I ran the software on my Acer Extensa 5620 last night. (See below for the same bug on my FRAGG desktop machine.)
My first problem was getting the software to see the drive, because I protect it with a password. After removing the password we were ready to go. I selected all the partitions on the drive, and asked for a sector-by-sector backup, as before. Here is the summary screen:
The progress bar appears to work OK, with the top one moving faster than the bottom one, but not for long.
The overall time estimate has dropped from 10 minutes to 17 seconds, when it still has over 4 hours to go.
Notice how the total progress bar resets itself for the verification operation. Why?
To add further lunacy to the equation, the verification estimate jumps from 10 days to 3 minutes. It actually took 65 minutes.
Now for the final amazing feature: I selected the "Shutdown the computer after completion" option because it was late and it would have been nice to leave the computer and go to bed, knowing it would shut down when done.
Of course I had forgotten about this incredibly stupid dialog box. Even though it defaults to the "shutdown" option, if you don't click it during the few seconds it gives you (i.e. you've gone to sleep or left the machine unattended expecting it to shut down) then instead of shutting down it "reverts" the shutdown option and reboots instead.
What kind of feature is that? You select it expecting it to do a shutdown, but unless you're standing by the machine it doesn't. According to the "What's New" article,
Automatic computer shutdown after backup or restoration finishes. You can now perform a backup at night and go to sleep without bothering about turning off the computer - the program will do this on its own.Except it doesn't do this on its own. You have to be there to confirm the operation within a few seconds or it "reverts" and does something else.
Update 4th April 2009: Acronis Customer Support have allowed me to change my purchase from the 2009 version to 11.0.8101 with a legit serial number. They also gave me a link to the boot CD ISO image, and it all works fine. The problems described still occur, and will probably be fixed in a future release.