Can someone give me a heads up how to better respond to seemingly far to broad questions which might be solvable by observing an issue first hand and with the consent and trust of a user to not do anything fishy with their data or hardware?

I guess I would be able to solve the following case at some point in time, probably even without having the hardware in front of me: Virus in windows killed mouse also not working in Ubuntu

But asking for the disk image or several ROM/Option ROM or whatever dumps is way beyond what I think this site is about and I wouldn't want anyone to publish sensitive data to the entire Internet just to analyze a probably trivial issue.

With several uncovered nasty privacy violations in firmware from different computer manufacturers (like Lenovo, sorry can't remember the name of the thing that was uncovered after Superfish and any similar cases from other manufacturers), it seems possible that such kind of PUP exists, a user may just not be able to describe it detailed enough.

  • 1
    If it's a cross-OS issue, then it isn't on-topic here anyway. Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 23:16
  • That may be correct in this case but I'd like to give good advice what to do next. There is a difference between "Your issue is off-topic here" and "You issue is more on-topic in x" or "Asking users of the Internet is not the best way to solve your issue". Also, what about a case that comes from an Ubuntu only user?
    – LiveWireBT
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 23:29
  • @KazWolfe What am I supposed to be using instead of an emoticon to add subtext? I do believe that having a disk dump would be beneficial and I do realize that asking for such a thing looks nerdy and hilarious, yet it is an accurate brief description of my question, it should be allowed where it is appropriate and not offensive.
    – LiveWireBT
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 23:39
  • @LiveWireBT In a question title, it just looks excessive and unnecessary. Plus, it detracts from the actual question being asked. By placing the emoticon, it doesn't look like we should take it as seriously. You're welcome to reverse it if you feel as though it should be there, but that's just my $0.02
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 23:40
  • The emoji just showed up as a square for me. Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 23:41
  • @LiveWireBT well, then you can leave a comment for that. The thing is, even if you can help, you shouldn't. I've been reading through the lowest-voted questions on MetaSE for the past week or so and the "broken windows" theory comes up a lot: if you let small things by, then they'll escalate into larger problems. If the problem has the potential for hours of troubleshooting one-on-one with the user, then it should be closed as being too-specific to that user. Since we're a network with a goal of helping everyone who reads our content, something that requires so much effort may be better for... Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 23:44
  • ...a repair shop. (Maybe I should put this as an answer.) Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 23:44
  • @Zacharee1 I was thinking of a local user group, but I don't have enough experience with these in different cities and countries, but I know many people or coworkers who have worked in repair shops and I have helped out at one in the past myself. I'd be concerned to run into such characters from the past there. May just be me though.
    – LiveWireBT
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 23:49
  • 1
    Remember again that we're here to help people online. SE isn't a portal for scheduling tech help. Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 23:51


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .