Based on the comment by the OP of this question, "After a reboot, everything worked out", I flagged the question for closure. It's my understanding that we close questions that are no longer answerable. In my opinion "reboot your server" is a good suggestion, but not really an answer to the question.

Not feeling one of the canned flags addressed this situation, I used a mod intervention flag, which was declined with the explanation:

How does this require mod intervention. Write a self-answer or delete.

I don't have enough rep to delete the question and, as explained above, my understanding is this question needs to be closed, not answered.

Was I wrong to initiate an effort to close this question?

Based on the decline reason instructing me to "self-answer", I'm wondering if the mod thought I was the OP. This would explain the instruction to delete. If this was a misunderstanding, no harm done, but I'm still interested to know the Server Fault community's stance on handling questions of this type.

  • 1
    I believe you're right that the question should be closed, so I've VTC'd it. As for the flag being declined, perhaps they did mistake you for the person asking the question; mods are only human after all...
    – Rob Moir
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 17:50
  • 2
    @RobMoir Yes, only human, and I hope my question is understood to be focused on understanding the community's wishes rather than to point fingers at a mod. Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 18:04
  • Absolutely, I'm sure it will be
    – Rob Moir
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 18:40
  • It make me think of me, I was flagging in the past a lot to be closed when I was under 3k. I got refused someday, and I understanded the mod opinion, as flagging should be for extreme case where normal tool like VTC cant deal with. As for your example, with a -2 score and soon to be closed, the Q will finish purged in the end.
    – yagmoth555 Mod
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 22:12
  • @yagmoth555 My question is whether this post should be closed. If it should, then it should be acceptable to flag it for closure. However I can understand not using a mod intervention flag (in which case I'm not sure which of the canned flags would make sense. On Super User I would use a custom close reason.) Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 22:29
  • oh, yes. I agree for the close of such question! but there in SF usually flagging a mod mean an urgent closure or deletion, like spam, insult, etc. I dont know other site policy on the other hand. but under 3k that leave you not much choice except a DV and a comment to the OP
    – yagmoth555 Mod
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 22:38
  • @yagmoth555 Got ya. Me neither, hence the question. Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 22:40

3 Answers 3


There's a difference between "I don't know what happened but a reboot fixed it" and "A reboot is needed because reasons". The later is useful, for those unaware that a reboot is necessary. Consider upgrading some drivers in Windows "Why my device doesn't work as I expected?", which is an expected issue if you didn't restart the system. Basically, it wasn't a random reboot that solved the issue, but a sensible process that is necessary to complete the task at hand. Those shouldn't be closed.

The ones that without any rhyme nor reason gets fixed by a reboot... aren't that useful, and might just get closed as "non reproducible".

  • 5
    This is Server Fault - Have you turned it off and on again ? should be implicit.
    – user9517
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 16:09
  • 1
    I would disagree with rebooting for the sake of rebooting. If you are trying to find a root cause a reboot could erase the state you are trying to troubleshoot. If a reboot will make you happy why bother asking the question. Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 18:58
  • 1
    @RowanHawkins exactly my point. If the causes are unknown and the issue disappeared after a reboot without reason, keeping the question open makes no sense.
    – Braiam
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 19:18

Subsequent to my posting this Meta question, the question I referenced in my post has been put on hold. I therefore conclude it was correct to initiate action to close this question.

Based on the following comment on the question, it appears a custom-close reason was used:

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because a reboot solved the problem.

This is indeed what I would have done if I had the necessary rep.

It's still unclear to me if it was incorrect to use a mod flag in this case. As the question is now closed as "off-topic", perhaps I could have instead flagged it as such. However, I observe that none of the close reasons available to me1 reasonably describe why this question should have been closed. Had I flagged it as, say "Blatantly off-topic," I would expect close-voters in the queue to observe that the content of the question is in-fact on-topic, and disagree with the close flag.

It would still be helpful as I continue contributing to Server Fault to know what is expected of me in a case such as this.

1As of this writing I'm a 1.9k rep user and don't have access to the free-text close reason.


After thinking to it, I wanted to give my idea about the question.

For your main question: Should questions “solved by a reboot” be closed

It's a case by case for me. As like the example you gave, yes. The fact you talked of it there on meta accelerated the closure without any more intervention from you. On the other hand for a router or a switch, that a reboot resolve the issue, it can be a firmware problem or such that the trouble can come back later when the gear is in overuse, so it can be tricky to close all such question at first sigh. I v-t-c on the example you gave, but I would not v-t-c on all issue that a reboot might solve the issue.

For the second part of your question, how the moderator's reacted;

How does this require mod intervention. Write a self-answer or delete.

I feel like RobMoir's told, as I just think the moderator though you were the OP.

I searched through meta stackexchange, and the usage of custom flag is not directly stated when to do or not, as comment like that seem constant;

Well, as I see it custom moderator flags shouldn't be used to just close a question, except in extreme cases e.g. bounty preventing standard close votes, user who post tons of crappy questions, etc.

or there is a point of view that I like for using close flag (not custom close flag) wrote by womble;

When you flag a question for mod attention, you are requesting closure. As Michael Hampton described, it turned up in the close review queue and, as I believed the question wasn't worthy of closure, I clicked "Leave Open". A mod clicking "Leave Open" is not some sort of super-vote that causes the question to be forever left open. All it does is clear the flag (if I had skipped the review, another mod would still have had to deal with it).

As you can see using a moderator flag can be tricky if the moderator don't think like you as from him a leave open vote will decline your flag, but keep in mind the intent is not to rebuke yourself. The intent is just that if the moderator don't think at 100% that it must be a direct closure, he will then wait the community to close the question.

Ofcourse, when you will be at 3K, this discussion will be history :)

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