I would like to know whether answers like the following one, should get deleted.

On the one hand, it does provide relevant information on the problem, but on the other hand, it doesn't solve the issue.

Do they fall in to the "not an answer" flag criteria? What's the best reaction in situations like this?

Edit: Since terdon converted that answer to a comment, here is the post for future reference:

Not an answer per say, but worth reading for anyone reading this page or considering doing this: BOTH PartImage & FSArchiver (I've used them both & read about both extensively) are NOT certified for use for NTFS, in fact it's considered "Experimental" ; They do work fine for FAT 32, but otherwise should be considered "OFF-LIMITS" for any windows backups, System or otherwise. Linux & Win don't play well together---the best "common ground" is FAT 32 (I have a dual boot sys with just a partition I use frequently!)

The question.

1 Answer 1


Yes, Answers that don't answer the question should be flagged as "not an answer" (or spam/rude/etc as appropriate). They'll then go to a queue for further review. Users with higher-level moderation privileges can then cast votes for deletion.

It's easier when the answer starts with "Not an answer per say [sic]"

Sometimes such not-an-answer Answers are comments that the author can't post as comments because they don't have enough reputation yet -- Answers have a lower bar. If the information is a useful addition or clarification to a post, then it should be suggested as an edit. Anecdotal data could possibly be left as a comment, but only if it applies directly to the post.

  • I have now converted that question to a comment.
    – terdon Mod
    Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 17:26
  • That sounds a bit too categorical. It's not uncommon for some answers to add information over some other answer (often the already accepted one). Generally, those answers would not be suitable as comments, and it would be rude just to duplicate the other answer into your answer just to add that extra information. Editing it into that other answer is fine for small/simple additions, but not necessarily for larger ones as the original author would be responsible for maintaining some information he did not write in the first place. Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 9:56
  • The OP's example is another typical case where it would be inappropriate to edit that additional text into an already existing answer, as it's opinionated. Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 10:01
  • I think I'm OK with Answers that supplement other Answers, as long as they're answering the question. This "class" of answer I'm concerned about is a "negative" answer -- "don't use X" -- which I think is perfectly appropriate as a comment on the Question.
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 14:04
  • I do appreciate that we don't want to put words in people's mouths, but I for one certainly appreciate enhancements to my Answers by people that know more than I do. It's not always obvious, but the edit history for any post clearly indicates who did what to each post.
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 14:05
  • Sometimes such not-an-answer Answers are comments that the author can't post as comments because comments are too short or does not allow enough formatting.
    – Ole Tange
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 14:41
  • The limitations of Stack Exchange are something we get to work with, I suppose. Either the author gains rep in other ways and then comments properly, or they withhold such comments-as-answers.
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 17:11

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