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I was looking to import a VMware VM to Hyper-V. Most of the google searches linked to an old and deprecated tool (Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter). Lower down the list I saw a superuser question and hoped it would help me. Unfortunately it has the same answer.

In general, how should we deal with an accepted answer that is no longer viable?

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Old and deprecated tool: how should we deal with an accepted answer that is no longer viable?

  1. You can add a comment to the post explaining the specifics of the issue. For example:
    • The tool might be no longer supported, but still available, at the same source or elsewhere.
    • It may still be available but not compatible with current versions of the OS or host application, but users with an old OS or host app might want it.
    • It might be deleted from all sources and no longer available anywhere.
    • Etc.
  2. If it is still available somewhere else, you can edit the post with a brief explanation of the issue and a current link.
  3. You can leave a post about the issue on the Ask a Moderator chat so a mod can decide what, if anything, to do about it depending on the context and circumstances.
  4. If you are aware of a current solution, you can post a new answer.
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    My only advice is make sure the new answer also applies to the authors question. While an answer is for nobody it also has to be applicable to the question that was asked. If it isn’t applicable then a new question should be asked, in which you specify the existing answer(s) do not apply to your question, and then self-answer your question. This way it will be clear, that you have a new question, and your answer does not apply to the original questions. First thing I do as a reviewer, when an answer is submitted to an existing question, is verify it is applicable to the authors question. – Ramhound Jun 1 at 12:48
  • "While an answer is for nobody" - Does anyone read comments anymore? I meant "everyone" but 4 people apparently agreed that answers are for nobody. – Ramhound Jun 3 at 19:40
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    @Ramhound, people likely read that as "nobody in particular", i.e., not a specific user like the OP. – fixer1234 Jun 3 at 19:52
  • That's a good point @Ramhound: If a question is for Windows 7, and contains aspects specific to that OS, adding Windows 10 answers is not answering the question, and if there is a Windows 10 question along the same lines, there should probably be a new question to cover that. – music2myear Jun 3 at 23:59
  • @music2myear As long as the windows 10 answer is explicitly tagged it can be very useful added to a top rated windows 7 question, so your first search answers your question. As so often the same answer applies to both versions i often read old ones and find it useful. – WendyG Jun 4 at 11:07
  • @WendyG which is why I specifically noted that my comments were for those cases where the answer was NOT applicable across both versions. – music2myear Jun 4 at 15:12
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If the out-of-date question is specific enough and does includes information that dates itself and limits its application such as a specific OS or software version, then a new question and new answers can be appropriate.

If the question is generic enough, such as for a process like the question you noted: New answers can be given with up-to-date information to the original question. However, unless OP comes back and selects the new answer, such additional answers could end up hidden below the previous, and previously-good, answers.

For this reason, I believe a properly worded new question can be a good thing in many of these situations. Note that the answers to the previous question, which is a good question, but "stuck in history" as it were, are no longer valid to the current realities. Such a new question, presented well, can and should get new answers which will be current.

But, take a lesson from the old questions and answers and specify the version(s) of the products you're working on so that it can be more clear to future searchers when and where your question and its answers apply to.

  • Perhaps when asking a new question and referencing the old one, a new tag or marking for the old question (outdated, superseded) and answer could be added? I've seen several questions referring to old versions of C#, HTML, etc. and it might be nice to let users know (with a link) that the question has been asked again and updated with new information. – CramerTV Jun 3 at 23:58
  • But for people still using what others may consider outdated or superseded tools, the question still applies. It isn't the question that's outdated, it is the products the question refers to. Rather than using tags, link to the previous/related questions, and then perhaps comment on the older questions noting there is a question for the newer versions of the product. – music2myear Jun 4 at 0:00

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