I asked this question earlier today:

How can I prevent Windows from overwriting GRUB on my dual-boot machine?

And I was surprised that several people are suggesting it is off-topic here.

Firstly, there is a similar question that was asked 4 years ago, which was received very positively:

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

My question is not a duplicate, because my situation is different (the answers to the older question did not help); however, I linked it in my question.

Secondly, U&L has two separate tags for both 'dual-boot' and 'windows', so why would a question that relates to dual-booting with Windows be off-topic?

Has the policy towards dual-boot questions changed in the 4 years since that earlier question was asked? If so, perhaps the 'dual-boot' and 'windows' tags should be removed, and all dual-boot questions moved to Superuser SE?

Something seems inconsistent here.

  • 1
    The logic you're proposing would equally suggest that all Windows questions were on-topic, so it may not be entirely sound. Nobody has voted to close as a duplicate so far, in any case. Feb 26, 2018 at 3:24
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    Just because the answer in the original question does not cover your situation, does not make the question not a duplicate. I think more important is that a few years have elapsed, and Windows behavior has changed. Still the same question. Unless you want to specify that you need to know what has changed in Windows. Then it is off-topic. Feb 26, 2018 at 3:45
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    Note that the presence of a tag on a site is not an indication that the tag's subject is on-topic. Any user can create a tag, and all SE sites have a few tags that shouldn't be there. This isn't the case here, but I just wanted to point out that the presence of a tag is not an argument for something being on topic. It is a reasonable assumption to make, it's just very often wrong.
    – terdon Mod
    Feb 26, 2018 at 8:57
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    @StephenRauch FYI, I made another Meta post before posting the question, as I was concerned it might be flagged as a duplicate: unix.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4780/…. I was advised there that it is ok to post a duplicate question, if the underlying situation seems to be different.
    – Time4Tea
    Feb 26, 2018 at 11:36
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    @terdon ok. But then, how do you explain the large discrepancy between how that previous question was received and mine? There has surely been a change in policy/sentiment on here in the past 4 years regarding such questions?
    – Time4Tea
    Feb 26, 2018 at 11:38
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    @Time4Tea I think Michael did a good job of explaining in his answer. I was just making a general point since people often assume a tag indicates that something is on topic, which is often a wrong assumption. That said, your question is asking for help on disabling a Windows feature (or bug, or whatever) so it isn't something we can help you with. We would just tell you to reinstall grub and, understandably, you're getting tired of doing it again and again. So you need help from Windows folks, and we can't offer that.
    – terdon Mod
    Feb 26, 2018 at 11:41
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    That's why I suggested multiple times that this should be posted on Super User.
    – muru
    Feb 26, 2018 at 12:59

2 Answers 2


As the tag's info page says:

Questions about Windows itself are off-topic on this site. If Windows knowledge is required to answer your question, you are more likely to reach an appropriate audience at Super User, or at Server Fault if your question is that of a professional system administrator.

The important part is "If Windows knowledge is required to answer your question". In the case of the question you linked to, the accepted answer sidestepped the title and explained how to use a Linux live CD to reinstall GRUB. Your question seems to specifically be rejecting that method and asking how to disable a Windows feature. Whatever the solution is, it's going to require Windows knowledge; your Linux install will have nothing to do with it. You're looking for someone with Windows expertise on a site full of people using other OSes.

  • 2
    Thanks for your answer, although I don't think I am 'rejecting' the method of using a live USB to reinstall GRUB. As you say, that answer sidestepped the underlying question of how to prevent Windows from replacing it in the first place.
    – Time4Tea
    Feb 26, 2018 at 11:30
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    Yes, perhaps it would be better received if I request it be moved to Superuser.
    – Time4Tea
    Feb 26, 2018 at 11:33
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    @Time4Tea just delete it here and repost on Super User. There's no benefit to migrating it and if you delete and repost, it will appear as newly posted on Super User.
    – terdon Mod
    Feb 26, 2018 at 11:42
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    @terdon ok, I will do. Thanks.
    – Time4Tea
    Feb 26, 2018 at 11:50
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    @Time4Tea also, thank you for taking the time to post here and for handling the entire thing so calmly and politely. Some of the comments you received were more brusque than they could have been, and I really appreciate that you reacted in such a constructive way.
    – terdon Mod
    Feb 26, 2018 at 11:56

I don't agree with it.

Integration and cooperation between a Unix/Linux and another system should be obviously on-topic.

Banning dual-booting problems, particularly Linux + Windows dual-booting problems would be harmful for the site.

(Extension from the far future.) Think about it, which Linux would be better: what can dual-boot and integrate with another OS, particularly Windows, or what can't? It not about the other OSes, it is about Linux/Unix.

  • uh, i think there's an argument for this if there is someone who will provide answers here, but I don't buy "integration". this is damage limitation. it's about the fact that MS seems to be a pig, and seemingly (surely not in all cases, because otherwise this would be much more well documented in the Linux community??) requires terminal commands in order to not make a complete mockery of the UEFI boot standard.
    – sourcejedi
    May 11, 2019 at 1:40
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    @sourcejedi Well, I think the place of a Windows is in a VM where it can't cause any trouble and can be restored to a snapshot if it craps. Best would be if it had not ever existed. But the world is not ideal, and we have to fight it. Not ignoring it, fight it.
    – peterh
    May 11, 2019 at 8:53

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