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When I read this question (which is in the hot network list as I'm writing this question), my first reaction was that it was off-topic, and should be on SuperUser.

Yet, I saw that the highest voted answer to this question was by a moderator, who clearly does not agree with me that this is a SuperUser question. Ultimately, the question is "how do I recover a file from a computer that has been infected by a virus" - which has nothing to do with the fact that the file is a Skyrim game save.

I understand that technical issues (like crash issues) would be considered on topic in some situations, specifically, when the question is really about that particular game. Can someone clarify for me why the linked question is on topic? More generally, what are the rules for the SuperUser / Arqade overlap questions? Which ones should be migrated, which shouldn't, and why?

  • The question, other than the "Can a Skyrim save be infected by a virus" part, is off-topic. As a quick test, if you can remove the game from the question without affecting it, it is off-topic here. – au revoir Jun 12 '15 at 16:57
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    Actually, the more I look at, the question is OK. The answer does move outside of our purview a bit, but that isn't a reason to toss it all out. – au revoir Jun 12 '15 at 16:59
  • So the core of the question is 'can I move a save file using a USB stick'. Answer is an easy yes, but I'd consider it irresponsible not to provide the extra info in my answer, given the opportunities for transmitting a virus to everything else via a USB stick! – fredley Jun 12 '15 at 19:48
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The linked question is not just asking "how do I recover a file from a computer that has been infected by a virus?" In fact, since they describe the procedure for doing that in the question (" copy the saved games file, put it on a pendrive"), they don't seem to be asking that at all. Rather, what they seem to be asking is "If I copy the saved game file, will I be able to use it after reformatting the computer and reinstalling the game", which is specific to Skyrim.

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    It's also very much worth asking, since the answer is not automatically "yes". SimIsle for MS-DOS, for example, has files besides the savegame file that you may need to copy. – Mark Jun 12 '15 at 22:31

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