• Upscayl — Killer robots are good at other things

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    FREEWARE SPOTLIGHT By Deanna McElveen All you hear about these days is the lightning-fast advancements of artificial intelligence. It’s as if no one h
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    • #2559318

      Installed and ran the program using an old black and white photo from 1957. The process almost destroyed my hard drive. I had to turn off the computer and let it cool down for 5 minutes. When the machine rebooted my hard drive was back and seems to be running normally.

      I uninstalled the program and recommend others take extreme precaution using this freeware.

      • #2559347

        “Almost destroyed” doesn’t explain what happened and how you knew there was a problem. Please provide more details.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2560097

        There are 4 different upscaling types to choose from.  It sounds like you started with the most intensive one (1) without exploring the others.  You might want consider testing the other types of upscaling in the #2 setting before forming an opinion.

    • #2559418
      This morning the newsletter had an article recommending the freeware program Upscayl.  It was touted as, “Upscayl takes any low-resolution image and makes it larger (for framing or other uses) while fixing the resulting low quality.”
      I thought I would try it out. So I downloaded and installed the program on my Dell desktop running Windows 11 Pro. I then scanned a 1957 black & white photo I had and used the program to increase the resolution. It ran for a few minutes, as the original photo was large and I was increasing its resolution. The scan was 10MB, the upscaled image 50MB.
      When the process finished it had slightly enhanced the image. However, shortly after that I started receiving messages from Windows that my Dropbox and OneDrive folders were missing. WTF?
      I tried signing out and signing back in. That didn’t work.  Next I tried rebooting to see if the problem was resolved. It was not. When I opened a File Explorer window to This PC, my data drive “E” was missing.
      I assumed that the upscaling was a drive-intensive process that had overheated my spinning data hard drive. Shutting the computer off for a few minutes worked.
      I immediately bought a new replacement/backup hard drive on Amazon and will dupe my “E” drive when it arrives. All my data files are in the clouds so I wasn’t concerned about losing information, but better to be safe than sorry.
      Finally, I uninstalled Upscayl and don’t recommend it!
      • #2559704

        This is Deanna the author of the article. First of all, as stated in the article, this program is for upscaling small images (small as in dimension) and then improving the resulting low resolution that occurs when enlarging a small photo.

        Doing it on a high-resolution, large-size image could cause your computer and the software to be extremely overloaded.

        This is not a photo retouching program as you are trying to use it.

        That being said, I did run it on a few large images to see how much it taxed the system. It caused no more heating or system usage that running any video encoding program, benchmarking program, or other resource intensive software.

        If your hard drive did go out then it already has a pre-existing condition.  By running a SMART test on the drive, you will see that it was probably already reallocating bad sectors before using Upscayl incorrectly.

        I have had hard drives go out dozens of times and have replaced hundreds of customer hard drives. Software is never the cause but always the last thing a hard drive was doing so it’s easy that software gets blamed.



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    • #2559707

      I ran Smart drive software and found the drive is good. I ran Windows drive properties and found it reports no errors on the drive. I ran the Windows scan for drive errors, anyway. No errors reported.

      As I previously wrote, I ordered a replacement drive and it will arrive later today. In the next day or two I will be cloning the drive, just in case.

      However, the Upscayl software is dangerous. I won’t use and suggest other people avoid putting their systems at risk.

    • #2559714

      No errors reported.

      I’m not quite sure I understand this. All reports are good, yet you ordered a new drive.

      How old is the drive in question?

      Would you be willing to share the S.M.A.R.T. data from the drive, if not here, then privately to me via email?

    • #2559733

      I ordered a new drive out of a sense of caution. The smart drive report says the drive has been on for 17184 hours, which is 716 days or a bit over 102 weeks.

      It is faster for me to clone a drive than download my data files from the clouds.

      I been playing with computers, networks, etc. for over half a century. I know it’s better to be safe than sorry.

    • #2559740

      I been playing with computers, networks, etc. for over half a century. I know it’s better to be safe than sorry.

      I sure by now you know to regularly create a full image backup on an external local HDD.

    • #2559742

      I don’t do full image backups. Takes too much time and energy and is of limited value in my experience. My data is stored in multiple locations. My apps can be reinstalled. Reinstalling Windows and Mac OSes is not too difficult these days, which I have done on multiple occasions through the years, so I’m good without a full image backup.

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      • #2559743

        I don’t do full image backups. Takes too much time and energy and is of limited value in my experience.

        How long does it take to rebuild your system after failure?

        Are you able to retrieve all data and settings?

        Carpe Diem {with backup and coffee}
        offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
        offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1265 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
        online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1778 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox115.0b1 MicrosoftDefender
      • #2559843

        I agree.

        All my data is backed up multiple times at home and off site. Every app/program most recent copy is also safely backed up.

        And a good rebuild is great. It gets rid of all the stuff that piles up.

        Oh yeah, I am a retired techie and rebuilding is always fun!

    • #2559748

      For my desktop machines, I keep my data on a different physical drive than my OS so replacing the OS drive and restoring the system takes me about half a day. One plus of having to do that is that all the cruft that built up in the older version of the OS is gone.

      Of course, rebuilding/restoring a laptop is a different process as there is only one physical drive. Generally, if I have a laptop that experiences a significant system failure, I simply replace it with a new machine.

    • #2560276

      There is a web browser based service that offers this and other photo editing functions here:


      However, it seems to be giving me problems right now so the site may no longer work.

      I’d prefer browser based versions for this type of work since I don’t do upsizing very often.

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