I am wondering what is the best way to handle old questions and/or answers that may be out-of-date, but which I would like an up-to-date answer to? For example, one question I am looking at is about 5 years' old; however, computing can progress quite a lot in 5 years and I feel that some of the answers may be outdated.

Is it considered legit to post a duplicate of an old question, if I think it or its answers are outdated?

Alternatively, perhaps I could suggest an edit of the existing question; adding a note at the bottom to explain why I think it is out-of-date and ask if anyone can find an up-to-date solution?


The example I am looking at is the following question:

How can I prevent Windows from overwriting GRUB when using a dual-boot machine

I feel that the accepted answer is out-of-date because I have a dual-boot machine with Windows 8/Linux and have disabled automatic Windows updates. However, I swear that it is wiping over GRUB every time I just boot into Windows (no update occurring). It is possible that more recent Windows updates may be becoming more aggressive towards GNU/Linux, compared to when these answers were posted.

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  • I think adding a new answer is appropriate if you have the same situation but a new solution. If there’s a new/different situation, then I’d think it’d warrant a new question. – Jeff Schaller Feb 3 '18 at 22:01
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    Ok, thanks Jeff. Perhaps I will post a new question in this case then, as the recommendations in the top-rated answer don't seem to address the issue on my system. I can make that clear and link the previous question in my new one. – Time4Tea Feb 3 '18 at 22:09

This is a standard bounty reason:

enter image description here

If you're sure that a new answer is likely, offer a bounty.

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  • Ok, I haven't offered a bounty before, so I hadn't realised that. But what if the question itself is out-of-date? Is that considered a legit reason to edit it? – Time4Tea Feb 3 '18 at 21:27
  • Provide an example, please. It's not entirely clear what you mean by an outdated question. – muru Feb 3 '18 at 21:31
  • Ok, I've edited my question to give an example. – Time4Tea Feb 3 '18 at 21:38
  • Well, I have two dual boots with Windows 10 (upgraded from 8) and I'm certain it's not overwriting GRUB in either instance. I think your problem is not actually an instance of that question at all, but a different problem, and should be posted as a separate question. – muru Feb 3 '18 at 21:43
  • Ok, sorry, that example is more of an outdated answer. The outdated question was more hypothetical. – Time4Tea Feb 3 '18 at 21:43
  • Oh? Which answers are outdated? The one that mentions XP? There are comments on it from 2016 and 2017 validating it, so it's hardly out of date. – muru Feb 3 '18 at 21:46
  • In my case, I am certain it is overwriting GRUB, as chroot-ing and running 'update-grub' fixes it. So, it seems to me that a new question would be very similar to that one, and may get voted down. – Time4Tea Feb 3 '18 at 21:46
  • This is entirely my own opinion, but: since the problem is with Windows, maybe try asking on Super User as to what else in Windows could be overwriting the bootloader on each boot other than updates or restores. Your problem is certainly not about that question being outdated in anyway (since I have an up-to-date system without disabling updates or restores and my bootloader is not getting overwritten) but something else in your setup. – muru Feb 3 '18 at 21:50
  • The highest-rated and accepted answer is out-of-date, where it says that 'Windows will overwrite the boot sector whenever you install it, upgrade it to a new version, or use tools like ...'. I have not done any of those things, yet GRUB is being overwritten. I know how to fix it, but it's a big pain to have to do that after every time I boot up Windows. – Time4Tea Feb 3 '18 at 21:51
  • Well, that top answer does not seem to be universally true, for every case. It seems to be missing something (therefore, imo, it could/should be improved upon). – Time4Tea Feb 3 '18 at 21:52
  • Are you saying it is outdated because it doesn't exhaustively list every possible reason why a bootloader could get overwritten? – muru Feb 3 '18 at 21:53
  • Technically, that answer doesn't adequately answer the question, which was 'How can I prevent Windows from overwriting the boot sector?', not 'How can I fix it afterwards, once it has happened?'. The answer is not helping me, because I have tried its recommendations and I am still not able to prevent my boot sector from being overwritten by Windows. So, in my opinion, the answer is missing something and could be improved upon. – Time4Tea Feb 3 '18 at 21:59
  • Technically, I think that would be offtopic: that's entirely about Windows. And impossible to answer, since we don't have the source code of Windows, we cannot list every possible reason that could cause it to overwrite the bootloader. – muru Feb 3 '18 at 22:04
  • Ok. So I assume you'll be flagging that old question as 'off-topic' then? ;) – Time4Tea Feb 3 '18 at 22:05
  • Perhaps then the issue is not that it is outdated. As you say, the same issue is not occurring for you. So, perhaps I should offer a bounty on it, as you suggest, if someone can improve on it. Although, bear in mind that this meta question is a general one, not necessarily just limited to that one example. – Time4Tea Feb 3 '18 at 22:06

I think your question has two possibilities. I would create a new question if you feel like an existing question's parameters are out-of-date -- a different situation may require a different solution. If, on the other hand, you have a new solution for an existing problem, then simply add a new Answer.

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    Create a new question, but link to the old one, and explain why and how they are different so that the new question will not be flagged as a duplicate by others. – Weijun Zhou Feb 5 '18 at 14:31

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