In 2012, a question was asked about the installation of VMWare player. Some months later, fossfreedom merged that question into How do I install VMware Player?. But in the latter one, the questioner wants to custom-patch VMWare with a custom script they have, and the accepted answer is about how to do that, not about the much more common situation of wanting to install VMWare.

The latter said question is now a duplicate target for numerous questions. Although the title appears general and Eliah Kagan's answer explains how to perform the installation, according to Thomas Ward's comment,

most users won't see it because they never read past the original accepted answer on dupe posts.

I also agree with this.

Also, I believe it wasn't appropriate to merge those questions because they aren't exact duplicates. Should these questions be unmerged? If so, can mods please request SE staff to un-merge those questions so that things would be where it they're supposed to be?

Footnote: According to Shog9's post:

If a moderator becomes convinced that a merge was inappropriate, they can ask one of us (SE team) to help unmerge / clean up the mess.

  • 2
    I am highly convinced that the merge here was done badly, because the merge source question and the merge target question address different issues. I've triaged this up to the CMs for handling the unmerge. (Thank you though for making the post and getting communiyt input on this, I don't always like acting unilaterally) – Thomas Ward Oct 31 '19 at 15:40

I agree that this needed unmerged, so I poked this up to The Great and Powerful Shog for unmerging.

The questions have been unmerged because they are substantially different from each other. Edit the questions accordingly to make them noticeably different please :)

by CMs (Shog9)

  • Bows to the supreme power – Kulfy Oct 31 '19 at 15:46

When a commonly used canonical question does not serve its intended purpose it is appropriate to create a new dupe target, including by unmerging an existing merged question that would be a better dupe target than the existing canonical question. The benefit of unmerging in this case is that it preserves the upvotes that the existing merged question received which would be useful to indicate that this is a useful question. It is also worth noting in this case that merged questions cannot be upvoted or bountied.


This merge really does seem to have been done in error and the resulting situation seems very confusing for visitors. The questions are not only not exact duplicates, but also the target is far less general than the origin and different enough from it that even reversing the direction of closure would be unsatisfactory. I cannot see any alternative to un-merging since if the target were edited to make it into the general question it's currently being used as (that is, if only its misleadingly general title were left and the body detail destroyed), the accepted answer with a score of 44 would become more or less incomprehensible. Writing a new question in which to merge this one would have the same effect.

Here's what needs to be ideally done in my view:

Whether the first part of the above can be done I don't know. But it seems a bad enough situation to request an intervention.

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