Question 913055, "I literally kicked my computer. Analysis and to do list for this situation?" (10k only), was deleted by a moderator after being closed as too broad.

While the question is certainly too broad, it and its answers received a substantial number of views and upvotes prior to being deleted, and the answers contain a significant amount of useful content. As such, I'd like to see the question undeleted and historically locked instead.

For the benefit of users with less than 10,000 reputation, the text of the question (credit Hojin Cho) is as follows:

I, about an hour ago, accidently kicked my PC. It wasn't that strong, but the impact shook the hull a little with sound, and the computer shut down immediately. I tried to turn it back on, but it won't. I think I heard some vague noise when I pushed the power button. I tried 3-4 times to turn it back on before I realised that this could damage my hardware further.

I have 2 hard disks, 1 SSD, a graphic card with a motherboard equipped with two memories. One power supply is equipped to power it.

I don't expect anybody can give correct diagnosis with information above, but here are the questions that I think that can be answered generally:

  1. Which part of computer could go wrong in this situation? In other words, which of the list above should be checked even after restoration, and which are safe in this situation?

  2. I suspect failure of power supply. What should I do to check its functionality without damaging parts any further?

  • 2
    I'm on the fence here. While it is a good question with high quality answers it is largely opinion based as it depends on where and how you hit the machine, what the materials of the case are made of (plastics could absorb more of the shock, steel would transmit the shock better), how secure the components are, whether you have a mechanical hard drive and so on. The only reason it wouldn't have been roomba'd was popularity and while it was popular it did not get any reopen votes which tells me that no one disagreed that it was off topic as being too broad.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 8:02
  • 2
    It got votes for "kicked my computer" not because it was a good question. I mean who has not wanted to kick their computer with extreme prejudice at some point in their life....
    – Moab
    Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 16:43
  • 2
    I agree that the question is too broad. However, deletion seems inappropriate if it got good, useful answers and was popular with the community. Sure, there are a lot of "it depends", but it isn't an infinite number of possibilities and a comprehensive/definitive answer isn't necessarily required. Were the answers bad advice? People vote to leave a question closed with the expectation that it will remain closed, not get deleted. So that shouldn't be considered justification, or an indication of community sentiment, for deletion. IMHO, it should be undeleted and remain closed/locked.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 3:02
  • 1
    Closed is not synonymous with "this one is answered all we can, we'll leave it for now as a plaque" but more that it needs to be edited into scope, or deleted
    – random Mod
    Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 5:08
  • 2
    @random: That's precisely what historical locks are for. Reopening after editing and deleting are not the only options. I'd hate to lose useful answer content, even if the question itself is bad. This is one of those few bad questions that have answers with valuable information worth preserving.
    – bwDraco
    Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 5:12
  • 1
    Last archived on May 30 '15: web.archive.org/web/20150513203530/http://superuser.com/…
    – undo
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 16:17

2 Answers 2


I find myself with a distinct lack of 10K-itude, so I'll have to go on what bwDraco says of the answers. Let's look at the guidelines for historical locking.

A historical lock preserves older content that was very popular when it was originally posted, but is now off-topic or otherwise out of scope for the site it is posted on.

It appears from this question that the question in question was indeed quite popular. It was also too broad, but was always so.

Questions can be historically locked when:

  1. The post is Off-Topic or Not Constructive, and
  2. The post is stellar, in spite of its off-topic nature, and
  3. There are a large number of views, upvotes and inbound links on the post, and
  4. The post is contentious; i.e. it has been closed and reopened at least once, or deleted and undeleted at least once

The question was indeed not a good fit for the site, given its broad nature. Condition 1 passed. Given the fact that it received boatloads of upvotes and views - and, more importantly, it got great answers - it could be considered stellar, and it would be a shame to hide the knowledge therein from Googlers. Conditions 2 and 3 passed. That last condition is tricky: it appears from this bwDraco's description that it was unambiguously recognized as unacceptable and disposed of without dispute.

Let's make sure that we're not violating the "do not" guidelines for historical locking:

Questions should not be historically locked if they:

  1. Are being actively maintained, or
  2. Have little or no redeeming value.

The post is certainly not being actively maintained; it's deleted. Condition 1 passed. Though the question itself may not be too useful, the answers are. Again, deleting good content (especially content that has attracted so many views) that was in response to a bad question would be a shame. Condition 2 passed.

Except for not being contentious, the post fits all the guidelines for historical locks. I would argue that we should undelete and lock it so as to simultaneously preserve the knowledge and make it clear that we don't accept such questions.

  • 1
    I would think that this meta post itself counts as 'contentious', so that's Condition 4 as well.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 2:47

Historical locking is meant for questions that, in hindsight, should never have been asked. Questions that, due to topic or format, have problems that are impossible to correct. The lock renders them all but immutable, fixed in time, standing like the grave markers on some long-ago battlefield as a record of a site's past.

Historical locking is not a stand-in for actually fixing problems.

If you see a terrible question attracting good answers... Then you're seeing a bit of sand generating a pearl. That's great! Folks love pearls. But if you want folks to enjoy it, you take it out of the oyster and put it on display. You don't kill the oyster and lock its lifeless rotting corpse in a box. You don't lock it for historical significance...

The question you reference was closed and forgotten. Not until it was deleted, and you brought this discussion up here, was it revived, polished up, and made a display piece. As it stands, the system works - the question is undeleted, opened, and not only isn't an eyesore but can theoretically attract even better answers should the need arise.

But it could have been done more efficiently:

  • Reopen review failed to reopen, although it did attract an edit. More editing and more willingness to salvage the question among reviewers would have been nice.

  • NO ONE voted to reopen the question until it was in review, and the only reason it was in review at all was due to its popularity. Even then, only one person - the editor - voted to reopen prior to yesterday.

  • There were a lot of rather half-hearted edits. No one bothered fixing the title until yesterday. If you want folks to look with favor on a question, making the first thing they see on the page descriptive and attractive is a pretty good place to start.

Remember, closing is essentially a nomination for deletion. Only moderators (and the system) can delete questions that haven't been closed... And both are usually reluctant to do so. So if you see a question closed that you wouldn't like to see deleted, vote to reopen and fix any glaring issues so that others are encouraged to do likewise. Don't wait until the question is gone to consider what could've been done to save it...

  • 1
    I'll put more work into actually editing questions of this sort in the future. Thanks for chipping in.
    – bwDraco
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 1:01
  • @Erm, the second half of your answer (from "Not until it was deleted, and you brought this discussion up here, was it revived, polished up, and made a display piece." onwards is referring to this question: Is ESD a serious risk on modern machines? which indeed is now a real question. The question referred to in this meta question is I literally kicked my computer. Analysis and to do list for this situation? which is still deleted...
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 7:23
  • Did you mean to reply here, @david?
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 0:40
  • @Shog9 Yes. The review you linked to is not for the question about kicking a computer which invalidates the discussion in your answer (as per my previous comment). The review is for the esd question ;P
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 7:04
  • Oh, I see what happened: I replied to the wrong question, @David. D'oh! Draco pinged me in chat with a bunch of links, and I guess I picked out the wrong set.
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 16:34

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