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I made a question about something I didn't know a lot about: Are dummy autoruns enough for virus prevention?

I asked if something was possible and my question got downvoted for kingdom come. Isn't this sort of question what this site is supposed to be about? Isn't it crazy to downvote a question just because the asker doesnt know something and wants to learn something about it? And now I can't ask a serious question!

  • Welcome to Meta. What question are you asking here? – bertieb Jun 4 at 16:56
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    I did not downvote, please do not presume that I did. I am unclear as to what particular question you are asking here on Meta. Are you asking if people voted your question down? Are you asking what is on topic for the site? Are you asking if people on here are crazy? – bertieb Jun 4 at 17:21
  • @bertieb I wasnt targeting you. My question superuser.com/questions/1443387/… people downvoted without giving a valid reason and It wasnt closed or anything. They never told me why my question was bad they just downvoted it while giving an answer in the comments. – Jonathan Irons Jun 4 at 17:37
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    My mistake, when you wrote "@bertieb why downvote?" I assumed you were asking me. My apologies. Though it is frustrating, users are not obligated to say why they are downvoting. Encouraging them to do so has been discussed elsewhere. – bertieb Jun 4 at 17:44
  • You received several great answers. Let me add one observation. "I asked if something was possible". That's usually a bad fit for a Q&A site. If it has already been demonstrated to be possible, you should have found some citations when you researched it first, and the question can refer to those citations and ask for clarification on specific points. If it is something that is or isn't possible on an obvious technical basis, it isn't clear how, or at what level, to answer so that it will be useful. Answers can range from "yes" or "no" to a textbook, so it is too broad in that sense. (cont'd) – fixer1234 Jun 4 at 22:06
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    If the question is just floating a brainstorming idea, that is too open-ended. It is more of a discussion topic than something with a specific right answer that can be fully addressed with an in-scope answer. The site isn't designed to provide general learning about a subject. In general, it is hard to write a good "is it possible?" question. A good one will be much more detailed, focused, and cited than your example. To write such a question, you kinda need to know all of the surrounding knowledge, and the question is a specific hole in that knowledge. – fixer1234 Jun 4 at 22:06
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Before I start, let's get something out of the way:

So long as they have the appropriate privilege, a user can downvote a post for whatever reason.1

Though you haven't explicitly stated all of them, I am going to address a few of what I presume are your concerns:2

What is Super User supposed to be about?

I asked if something was possible and my question got downvoted for kingdom come. Isnt this what this site is supposed to be about?

This site is about computer software, hardware, and home networking. Asking if something is possible can potentially be on topic. Autoruns and viruses are within the scope of the site.

Generally speaking, the site and other StackExchange network of sites aim to be a repository of high-quality question and answers for the benefit of future users.

Why was your question downvoted?

Isnt it crazy to downvote a question just because the asker doesnt know something and wants to learn something about it?

To be blunt, I don't believe your question was downvoted solely because you didn't know something and wanted to learn about it.

The tooltip for the downvote button says:

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful

Your question as it is at the moment, with the vote breakdown expanded:

OP's question

Some issues:

  • "Put Read Only autorun.inf and a autorun.bat in the root of the USB to keep musallat.exe and özel dosyalar.exe away" - the question does not explain what 'mullasat.exe' and 'özel dosyalar.exe' are in sufficient detail. You recognise this might be an issue by starting to explain this in a comment, but then talk about another thing, helalet.exe. Information pertinent to the question should be in a the question, not a comment.

  • "They just make folders hidden and put folder shortcut.exe's" does not explain what they do enough for someone unfamiliar with them to know what effect they would have.

  • "Will my plan prevent all kinds of USB viruses?" - this is answerable in the narrow sense, but broad in the the wider sense

  • "Are there other viruses that will require antivirus on PC?" this also answerable in the narrow sense, but broad in the wider sense

It is quite possible for someone to answer your question along the lines of "1. No 2. Yes". However, the resulting QA would not be a useful resource to others.

So, how can you improve your question[s]?

Start off by reading How do I ask a good question? or re-reading it. It has useful pointers that would have helped you avoid attracting downvotes, in particular:

  • Search, and research
  • Be specific
  • Make it relevant to others

Good luck, I hope you are able to edit your question and improve it.


1: So long as it doesn't form part of a bigger pattern of vote fraud or serial voting

2: I have answered your presumed questions as I would like my answer to be useful to others as well as you. I don't believe it was your actual intent to ask if the site's users are literally crazy, as that would hardly engender goodwill.

  • Thanks for telling why my question wasnt that great. I wanted to give a little background about the problem I had. The problem was I was seeing viruses that put their executables on the USB drives and putting their autoruns to execute themselves when plugged. I just wanted to keep this from happening by "plugging the hole" with dummies so autoruns containing "exec virus.exe" wouldnt appear. (To be honest.I talked about helalet.exe just to give further background so I would appear to have done my research. I just cant find much on the internet about autorun.inf + virus.exe viruses) – Jonathan Irons Jun 4 at 17:42
  • This is a little bit too much but... Can you edit my question yourself? – Jonathan Irons Jun 4 at 17:43
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    @JonathanIrons I can edit your question, yes, but it it better done by you so that I don't conflict with your intent. I think a narrower question would be better received, for example something along the lines of- "There is malware which uses autorun to cause a nuisance. Could I prevent it doing so by disabling autorun? For example, I have come across A and B, both of which do X,, Y, and Z. I think those effects could be stopped by disabling autorun, would that work?" (filling in blanks as appropriate, and phrasing it as you wish) – bertieb Jun 4 at 17:47
  • I think a better question would be "Is there an better way to prevent USB viruses that spreads over autorun system instead of disabling autorun all together?" and when it comes to description "I have heard something about vaccining USB drives. How useful is it" I think its still a little bit broad but I think it will be ok. – Jonathan Irons Jun 4 at 17:54
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    @JonathanIrons That question is more specific, yes. The vaccinating bit is too vague and would also be closed as opinion based. – bertieb Jun 4 at 18:56
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    @JonathanIrons - "Is there a better way to prevent USB viruses that spreads over autorun system instead of disabling autorun all together?" - Seems like an XYZ problem, in that since Autoruns is disabled by default, it's not clear what problem are you trying to solve by finding an alternative solution to disabling Autoruns. By disabling Autoruns you disable the malicious behavior used by malicious files that use Autoruns. Since it's disabled by default, it takes effort to enable it, seems like you are trying to find a solution to a problem that has already been solved. – Ramhound Jun 4 at 19:01
  • @Ramhound I want to both have autorun capability intact while keeping autorun viruses getting into my pc. – Jonathan Irons Jun 4 at 19:10
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    @JonathanIrons - You can manually right-click any device and utilize the autorun capability manually. – Ramhound Jun 4 at 20:45
  • @Ramhound how?? – Jonathan Irons Jun 4 at 21:12
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    @JonathanIrons - I indicated how to manually initiate AutoRun disk in my previous comment (the comment you replied to). – Ramhound Jun 6 at 14:02
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To answer the implied question of "why?" when you say:

And now I cant ask a serious question!

You have what is known colloquially as "history". Specifically you have a history of asking bad or off-topic questions.

You have asked, in total, 10 questions on this site. 5 of those questions were closed, deleted and/or downvoted. For your information those questions are

As a result of a number of low quality and/or poorly received questions you have hit an automatic question ban. One of the questions even begins with you stating "This is not the right place to ask but the site description says this site is about general computing" so you knew before even asking that it would likely get closed.

The problem isn't anything we can help with. It is entirely enforced by the Stack Exchange system and nothing moderators can lift or affect.

You should start by reading Why are questions no longer being accepted from my account?

At Stack Exchange, asking questions is a privilege, not a right. If a user cannot demonstrate, after asking a reasonable number of questions, that their contributions are making the site better (or at very least, not making it worse) then they will be blocked from asking further questions until they have demonstrated their ability to contribute positively.

Also on that page

Stack Exchange cannot lift question bans by request.

There is hope though, as

Does the ban last forever?

If you're unable to improve your existing questions, you'll get the chance to ask a new one 6 months after your last question. If that question is positively received, you may be able to continue asking questions; if not, then the ban will be reinstated.

So take your time, learn what makes a question well received, answer some questions and share your knowledge, be a positive power in our community and sometime soon your time to shine will come again.

  • I forgot these questions existed... When it came to laptop naming I guess I was little bit too used to the r/pcmasterrace – Jonathan Irons Jun 4 at 18:31
  • Thank you for addressing the Q ban side of things; when I looked I only saw the reasonably well-received extant questions and thought there might be more to it – bertieb Jun 4 at 18:41
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    @bertieb no worries. You did an excellent job addressing the quality aspects and what could be done and as you say the last sentence implied there might be more to it. Sure enough there is evidence of a question ban in place so I thought it worth adding some explanation for it and evidence of what actually would have caused it. – Mokubai Jun 4 at 18:59

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