In reference to this question: How can I recover deleted files shared with a linux VM?

I recognize that I can be short with "lazy-web" posters. Are my responses in my answer and/or comments too blunt or unhelpful? I'm not trying to be an ass, but I reviewed this post and realized I may be coming across pretty poorly, so I am asking for the more experienced community to weigh in...am I violating Wheaton's Law?

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    If you have to ask it, the answer is yes.
    – mikeserv
    Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 17:44
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    Comes across like you're being helpful to me, or at least are trying to help the OP. Didn't really detect any negativity w/ what you've written.
    – slm Mod
    Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 18:10
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    I'm with slm on this. I don't see any signs of bitchiness whatsoever. I guess the OP would be the person to ask but as far as I can tell you're perfectly civil and helpful.
    – terdon Mod
    Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 21:06
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    Thanks everyone. And I am not in disagreement with @mikeserv either. I was on the fence, thus why I asked. Just trying not to be THAT guy who is always a jerk...
    – 0xSheepdog
    Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 22:40
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    I didn't say it was a bad thing, and I didn't even check to look into the post you were talking about. I don't mind being THAT guy - ask anybody. Sometimes you gotta bitch, and who can tolerate everything?
    – mikeserv
    Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 22:57
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    It's about Linux, so you need to ask yourself the question: "What would Linus do?" Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 22:34
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    Huh I was expecting an amusingly snarky post to review, and got ... a perfectly normal post without any bitching, intolerance or snark whatsoever. It's not even borderline. Have I missed something?! Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 11:32
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    I seem to be in the minority, but I think his answer would be more appropriate as comments. A useful answer should provide specific details. That answer just says to use the normal file recovery procedures, but if the OP knew what those were he wouldn't have asked.
    – Barmar
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 20:25
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    Your answer is neither curt nor smart-ass. It's an appropriate answer to the question.
    – sashang
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 5:15
  • @barmar that crossed my mind. However, no one else had answered at that point. In the past I have been baited (trolled?) into providing q-a back and forth in comments with a lazyweb poster (AskUbuntu, not here). I had no desire to do the same here. I guess my only reply to your comment is: it's like asking your family Doctor for advice on BioChem homework. He does have some exposure and knowledge in the area, if he went to medschool in the last 15-20 years. But it probably ain't his primary gig...
    – 0xSheepdog
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 21:11

4 Answers 4


Not at all. In fact, given the paucity of information provided in the question, it is a very good answer: it covers a range of scenarios, likely to be helpful to others who find themselves in a similar situation and is completely devoid of what would be otherwise understandable snark.

Is this a trap?

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    ...if caught, what do you lose?
    – mikeserv
    Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 23:00
  • @mikeserv Probs are your friedliness.
    – Sebb
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 21:37
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    @sebb - i dont even own a fryer.
    – mikeserv
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 19:03
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    @mikeserv There you go - he got ya ;)
    – Sebb
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 19:24

Looking at the post and comparing it to my experience with USENET, I would say your tone is almost saintly, given that you have no overt or even covert ad-hominem attacks, or complaints about the "laziness of kids today", for example.

Writing a technical question is a skill, and pointing out that information is missing is a perfectly good, and super useful lesson to impart.


I believe you were too quick to mark the question as a duplicate. There is one critical piece of information (the poster is running Linux in a VM on Windows) that makes the answer potentially completely different. Therefore the question is not a duplicate of "how to you undelete files on Linux".

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    The question can only be considered different if the OP states in his question that he tried to apply the existing answers and they didn't work for him because he's in a VM. When no evidence is present, Occam's razor applies. Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 10:25
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    It's a good point. However, I don't believe I was one of there ppl who marked it duplicate.
    – 0xSheepdog
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 13:55
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    And after double checking (my memory isn't always so good) I can confirm I did not mark it as duplicate.
    – 0xSheepdog
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 18:55
  • @0xSheepdog Sorry to have implicated you erroneously as a duplicator :) My point that the question shouldn't have been tagged as such, though, stands. Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 20:34
  • @DmitryGrigoryev I believe you're missing the point. The OP might have applied the existing answers, given up, and resigned himself to data loss, not realizing that there might be other options for recovering data from a virtual disk image. If you're going to throw around philosophical heuristics, the appropriate ones here aren't Occam's Razor but Grice's maxims of quantity and relation. Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 22:02
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    @dodgethesteamroller, In the hypothetical situation "OP might have applied the existing answers, given up, and resigned himself to data loss" the issue lies in the lack of communication from the OP who failed to read the first paragraph of this page, not in the fact that other people are bitchy and unhelpful. So in a way he's also broken the maxim of quantity you're siting, by not providing information about what he tried before asking. A more probable situation, however, is that the OP didn't do any research and didn't try anything. Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 8:24

My impression is that you've been descriptive. Concise and determined, but not arrogant and downward-looking. I would just suggest to start a post with 'Hi!' simply to give it a gentle feel at the outset. Perhaps this can also help you feel better about your own approach. Good that you put yourself into discussion!

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    SE, especially technical subsites, is aimed at discussion of specifics, not socialising. I'm all for folk having fun if they like, but (across the web) I don't like the idea that we should inflate all posts with platitudes, to placate people who expect constant pats on the head. It risks fuelling an unrealistic expectation of constant affirmation. And - rare in a situation like this - it's not just me! See: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2950/… Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 17:45
  • The post @underscore_d mentions is interesting and shows that a curt approach has been debated/debatable. Socializing has more dimensions that a two-letter word on a SE forum. I see little risk not see the wheat from the chaff. I appreciate the risk of inflation though. The reference to Grice's maxims of quality, quantity, relation and manner is very apt (thx @dodgethesteamroller). Also, Leech's politeness maxims may give clues on how expectations shape our way to relate with others. Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 18:13

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