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The question Can I update my Microsoft Enterprise SQL Server? was migrated from stackoverflow.com and then rejected. If I understand the Auto delete rules correctly it will be deleted in about 30 days.

While I agree with the closure reason, It makes a really good argument for why users should not have any remote access to servers, with SQL instances installed on them.

It is a really good example of scenarios we as DBAs work hard to prevent and/or make recovery from possible.

Can/should we prevent this question from being auto deleted?

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Clear the migration history and let the community decide

A moderator can prevent the Q & A from being auto-deleted by clearing the migration history. This would make it appear as if the migration never happened; in other words, a regular question asked directly on this site in the first place.

The question would be unlocked but still closed, and no longer subject to automatic deletion by the system. Users could then vote (up, down, reopen, delete) as they wish.

This seems like a sensible option to me, because although the question is poor, the answer has value and might be worth saving.

The other aspect to this is that poor questions normally get a second chance, via edits and a reopen review. This second chance is denied to a rejected migration. Clearing the migration history would allow the more normal process to take place.

We'll see how the community reacts to this option.


After a week of being the voting suggests the community here would prefer that this Q & A were not auto-deleted. I have unlocked the question so it is no longer marked as 'migration rejected'. Clearing the migration history would have had a side-effect of reopening the question, which is a step further than I want to go by myself.

The question is now eligible for votes to reopen or delete.

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For the opposition: Don't delete it.

People are going to Do Dumb Things when they can. When they can't Do Dumb Things they want to do, they're going to try and find a workaround. Smart People™️ choosing to not talk about the Dumb Thing doesn't remove the incentive for N00bz™️ to do the Dumb Thing.

There's already precedent on this network for deleting potentially harmful content. The most helpful commentary I read on that thread is:

I do not suggest there can be no justification to such a desire, but with none given whatsoever it is hard not to consider less than honourable motives.

I think this sets a reasonable and high bar for deletion by reason of benevolence. The tone of the question being discussed now is not malicious, and does not seek to get out of paying a bill. It's highly trivial and I could hear an argument for deletion by reason of too localised; but the OP for this question is trying to access functionality in good faith - just horribly misunderstanding how to get at it.

Conversely, it's not like we've always been strictly opposed to content that pretty obviously violates best practices.

Some people are always going to have higher permissions than they should. Maybe the next person who had the same thought as our misguided OP has the unfortunate access to actually upgrade their servers. Wouldn't a helpful banner on this network saying Stop! Don't do this! serve the mandate of the community?

  • Because the question was migrated then closed, it should be deleted in ~30 days. You might be thinking that because it has an answer it will not be auto deleted, that only applies to non-migrated questions you can read more at What causes a migration to be rejected and what happens after? I appreciate you taking the time to post an answer, but saving this question seems implausible. We will see in few weeks. – James Jenkins Sep 5 at 10:49
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    My reasoning for deletion stems from the fact that there is a lot of mixed up information in the question. (Initially a quality issue and then a "OMG" issue). I do however, understand the reasoning behind keeping the question. With enough pressure it might turn into a diamond. Hence +1 for your answer. – hot2use Sep 5 at 13:29
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This doesn't seem to be an "example of scenarios we as DBAs work hard to prevent". It is most likely an example of a person having not a slightest idea what he/she is doing on a local workstation; there is no indication of "any remote access to servers" in that question.

So no, the question doesn't seem to be worth saving.

  • The phrase "So I am trying to update my actual SQL server" leads me to believe the user had at least RDP access to the SQL server. Probably because SSMS is installed there. In my experience it is a common expectation of application vendors to expect SSMS to be installed on the SQL server, and that is how they and the business will interact with the databases outside of the application. – James Jenkins Sep 4 at 17:29
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    " Will updating on my local computer work? Or do I have to speak to the DBA and get it updated on some main server?" – mustaccio Sep 4 at 17:37
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    The question may not be worth saving, but perhaps the answer is – Paul White Sep 6 at 6:58
  • @PaulWhite the answer attempts to explain such basic concepts that it hardly passes the "on-topic" filter for the DBA SE. "What is Management Studio and how it differs from SQL Server?" – mustaccio Sep 6 at 12:21
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    You may be right, there will be a range of views on this. At the time of writing this comment, the answer has six upvotes and no downvotes. The community decides what is on topic, after all. I added some more thoughts to my answer. – Paul White Sep 6 at 12:25
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The question you are referencing is a good example of a person (non-DBA; IMHO) doing something they shouldn't be doing. And for the following reasons:

  1. They have no idea how SQL Server works. (SQL Server != SQL Server Management Studio)
  2. They don't know the version of the SQL Server they are upgrading.
  3. They know nothing about updates/upgrades and which upgrade paths are supported.
  4. They don't seem to be the DBA of the SQL Server instance, but are just trying to activate a feature in the SQL Server instance by simply upgrading it to the version they require.

IMO: Giving them any form of feedback might result in said user performing actions which could have an adverse effect on the DBA's environment.

In keeping with the COC and staying polite, the easiest thing to do is ensure this question doesn't get any further attention.

Answering Your Question

Can/Should we prevent this question from being auto deleted?

No! And adding to your conclusion:

It makes a really good argument for why users should not have any remote access to servers, with SQL instances installed on them.

It makes a really good example of why DBAs are DBAs and others are not. The question really had me scared for a moment.

Quality / Question

If there really is a requirement to do what the author is doing, then they could always re-phrase their requirements and open up a new question.

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