Thursday, March 19, 2009

Acronis True Image Home 2009 and the progress bar from hell (Updated)

The opening boot screen of Acronis True Image Home 2009 build 9709 would be funny if it wasn't so ironic. My ability to "compute with confidence" has plummeted since I bought this product.
As part of the 2009 Defrag Shootout I have been using Acronis True Image Home v11.0.0.8027 that belongs to a friend even though I have bought my own copy of TIH 2009, because it has a nasty bug that is still not even properly acknowledged after 6 weeks.
These photos show what happens. I boot up off the CD and select "Backup". Then I choose the entire C: drive, with a sector-by-sector backup.
It must be a full backup to a new backup file on my external 400GB USB drive bought specially for this purpose.
I select High compression to reduce space. The estimated size is 54GB, but the file turned out to be 89GB, but there are a lot of ZIP and MP3 files on the disk, so that's OK I guess.
Then I ask for the backup to be verified.
The summary screen shows what has been selected, and then the fun starts.
Here are the opening progress bars. As expected, both are showing 0%
Then the remaining time estimate starts at around 30 minutes and soon drops. The "total progress" bar moves faster than the "current operation".
Eventually the "total progress" bar has hit 100%. The estimated time will remain at 13 seconds for the next 2 hours 47 minutes.
In the meantime the "current operation" moves slowly along from 12% to 100%
Nearly there after 3 hours...
Step 2 is quick, and then the verify begins. It will take 50 minutes, not 11 hours or 16 minutes.
How it guesses 1 minute and 57 seconds and then stays like that for the next 40 minutes I have no idea.
Eventually the operation completes, after 4 hours.
I originally reported this bug, along with photographs, on Monday, 2nd Feb 2009. I received a reference "Case 00062866" the same day. I sent an enquiry email on 11th Feb, and had the following rather sad chat with their online help on 12th Feb:
(Click for a bigger image).
After "only" 5 weeks I received a follow-up email, and was advised to download the same version (9709) that I used when I reported the bug. They also gave me the URL to a new .iso file (also version 9709), which I used to take these new photos. I have been told
"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."
I have pointed out that the boot CD only runs the Acronis software, and the problem occurs on different machines. I have promised to send additional photos when I do a full laptop backup this weekend.
Fortunately the backup images do work, in spite of the obviously bad programming on the display. I have never seen a beta product with such an obviously bad bug, let alone a final product. It was released before December 2008, and after 4 months it still isn't acknowledged, let alone fixed.

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.


Anonymous said...

I heard bad thing about Acronis before. What about a disk imager shootout ? :-P
By the way, I can't wait for the defrag shootout 2009 !

Donn Edwards said...

Maybe in 2010 $%-)

The backup and restore work flawlessly, it's just the progress bar that sucks, and the support side is slow.

I really don't want a refund, I want something that works. The 2008 product works fine.

herbtea said...

Hi, I have the same issues with the progress bars and stated time to completion with TIH2009 on my Vista x64 machine.
TIH2009 has saved my bacon though as I had to do a restore a few weeks back and all went well.
The boot recovery disc prep is a lot easier than Symantec's to prepare for a 64 bit system too.

Unknown said...

A lot of the problems with software do turn out to be machine specific. I run TI 2009 and it very fast on huge drives and the time remaining bar is fine when running within Vista SP2. The only trouble is when restoring using the external cd (where I just ignore the progress bar and leave to complete eg 25 GB partition restore in about 13 minutes).

Vista SP2
Intel-Quad CPU
4 GB Ram

Unknown said...

I tried 2009. Made a full C: image, same way I had been doing with TI 11.

It backed up fine to my USB external hard drive (Maxtor 4 Plus). But it was unable to mount the file it had made, nor to recover with it. Their tech support said to copy the backup file to an internal drive. (!)

Acronis refunded my $$$ and I went back to my tried and true TrueImage 11 (build 8101), which has never failed me.