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I have this question with an open bounty. In summary, I couldn't get my phone to connect to the computer with a USB cable.I tried multiple things to solve the problem: including advice taken from superuser.com, XDA-developers forums and settings I experimented with. Though it's working now, I can't be certain which action or series of actions solved the problem. I cannot recreate the initial environment.

In general, for problem X I took steps A, B, C and am unsure if step C solved it, or any combination of A,B,C solved it. One of the steps was from an answer given on superuser.

How should I accept an answer and award the bonus? I would also like to document the steps I took in hopes of helping someone with a similar problem. For this I was thinking of answering my own question and explaining I'm not sure which combination of steps is the actual solution. Is this a good idea?

The problem was unusually complex as it was not clear if the source was the phone, computer or both. Furthermore the OS on the phone (Cyanogenmod) only has nightly builds and is not fully stable.

  • Is there more than one SU answer that may have contributed, or one SU answer plus potentially answers from elsewhere? Posting your own answer as you describe is a great idea because that can fully explain what went into solving it. Awarding the bounty is a separate issue. It's already been reserved, so it's award it or lose it. It doesn't have to go to a complete solution, only what you feel best contributed toward solving it. You could divide it between any answers you think helped. – fixer1234 Oct 4 '16 at 23:15
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    You can also allow the community decide, means the bounty is cut in half, but the bounty will be awarded to the highest voted answer upon expiration – Ramhound Oct 5 '16 at 2:12
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You've two questions:

Bounty:

You've already spent that rep when you've offered the bounty, now the question is the most useful way for placing it:

I may agree with fixer1234, you can leave it for the community to decide. (Or offer another bounties for the others to:))

Out you can consider the value of the bounty: While reputation is awarded in a bounty seems to be a lot, actually it won't be a lot for somebody already having a lot of it. If there is somebody contributing with very low rep, award it to him. (Of course this shouldn't be the general factor in decision, only in cases like this).

Answer your question:

It's definitely a good idea!
There are useful pieces of information in the other question, but none of them had solved the problem on their own, summarising all the steps you've done will help others with the same problem.

  • How do you let the community decide for the bounty? – Celeritas Oct 5 '16 at 7:13
  • @fixer1234 what happens if there are multiple highest voted answers – Celeritas Oct 5 '16 at 8:11
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    @Celeritas "If two or more eligible answers have the same score (their scores are tied), the oldest answer is chosen." – DavidPostill Oct 5 '16 at 16:34
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Some basic guidelines on how bounties work From https://superuser.com/help/privileges/set-bounties and https://superuser.com/help/bounty.

After the bounty ends, there is a grace period of 24 hours to manually award the bounty.

  • Simply click the appropriate bounty award icon next to each answer to permanently award your bounty to the answerer.
  • You cannot award a bounty to your own answer.
  • You can accept an answer without awarding a bounty to it.
  • You can award a bounty on an answer without accepting it.
  • Awarding a bounty cannot be undone.
  • If the bounty was started by the question owner, and the question owner accepts an answer posted during the bounty period, and the bounty expires without an explicit award then we assume the bounty owner liked the answer they accepted and award it the full bounty amount at the time of bounty expiration.
  • If you do not accept an answer nor award the bounty within 24 hours of the bounty period ending, half the bounty value will be automatically awarded to the top voted answer posted after the bounty start, provided it has a score of at least 2.
  • If two or more eligible answers have the same score (their scores are tied), the oldest answer is chosen.
  • If there's no answer meeting those criteria, no bounty is awarded to anyone.

The guidelines don't mention splitting the award between multiple answers. I thought I saw that somewhere, but apparently, I was mistaken. Given that the award can't be changed, it looks like it all needs to go to a single answer.

The guidelines also don't describe what happens if you accept your own answer and don't explicitly award the bounty to another answer. It looks like the bounty would simply be lost in that case, since the system would award it to the accepted answer, which would not be eligible to receive it.

Bottom Lines:

  • You've written your own answer. If you plan to accept it (which would be logical, since it describes your actual solution), either wait to accept it until after the bounty is awarded, or manually assign the bounty to avoid it being lost and wasted.
  • You could also accept another answer if you think it's worthy and want the author to receive the acceptance rep. That answer would also receive the bounty if you don't award it elsewhere.
  • If no other answer attracts at least 2 upvotes, manually award the bounty or it will be lost and wasted.
  • If another answer attracts at least two upvotes and you would be happy to let the system award the bounty to that answer, award it yourself so that half the bounty isn't lost and wasted.

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