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Yesterday I asked this question about a flash drive. Today, I came back to look for answers and found that it had been marked as a duplicate. I was excited to learn that my question had already been answered, and then immediately dismayed to see that it had, in fact, not. My question is about a drive that prevents diskpart from opening, while the one it is marked as a duplicate of begins assuming the drive is visible in diskpart (the question is here for reference). This seems to be a mistake, and not an isolated incident (see here and here). I don't want my question reopened, necessarily, as I've decided the drive is done for, but I'm now wondering about the process for duplicates.

My question is twofold (which I realize is frowned upon. Sorry)

  • Why are questions able to be marked as duplicate without some more in depth review
  • Why is there no way to appeal or question the decision as the asker?
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Most questions closed as duplicates are...duplicates

Why are questions able to be marked as duplicate without some more in depth review?

To be closed as 'duplicate' a question must be reviewed by no less than 5 separate community members (or more rarely, a single moderator or user that's earned a gold badge in one of the question's tags). This process ensures that either highly experienced users or the majority of those tasked with reviewing potential duplicates agree it should be closed. Because of this, the bulk of questions that get closed as duplicate, are in fact, duplicate questions.

For those questions closed as duplicate that indeed are not, the most common cause is insufficient information to distinguish the question from the proposed duplicate. This appears to be the case with your question, which in its current form gives no clear evidence that it's different from the duplicate question. Which leads us to your second (and quite relevant) question...

Why is there no way to appeal or question the decision as the asker?

There is! The FAQ for Duplicate Questions explains what to do if your question is closed as a duplicate, but you disagree:

If you're the author, edit your question to explain how it differs....Questions edited within five days of closure will be added to the reopen queue.

The edit shouldn't merely express disagreement with the closure, but rather explain in detail why your question is not a duplicate. Be detailed and specific so that the reviewers deciding whether your question should be re-opened have the information they need to make a proper decision. Again, it will take 5 reopen votes to get your question opened.


How to avoid getting your question closed as a duplicate in the first place

Knowing that questions can (and if indeed duplicate, should!) be closed as duplicate, it's important to search the site for the answer to your question before posting. To this end, the site assists by displaying possible duplicates based on the content of your question draft. Not only should you review these potential duplicates, but if you find some that are similar but not the same (and thus could tempt question closure), take proactive action by mentioning in your post that you reviewed said question then explain why that question is not a dup.

  • Awesome! This is a perfect explanation, thank you. I don't plan to attempt to reopen my question, but this is super helpful nonetheless. It would have been nice to have a link to that faq on the duplicate flag/comment/bar at the top of the question though... – brndn2k Oct 21 '17 at 4:02

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