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How would I get all that hard work back? Does StackOverflow have a mechanism to recover good stuff that was deleted by some else (like the author of an answer)?

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huh? What are you asking for? Were you not the author of the question? Your question makes it seem you were. If a question was deleted that you had answered, you could ask a mod to look into it, but there was probably a good reason for it to get deleted, maybe. – jcolebrand Jun 5 '11 at 18:23
@jcolebrand: There was no word about the question being deleted. This is about an answer being deleted. I had this happen before, there was a useful answer, and I wanted to comment on it, and when I submitted the comment, it told me the answer was deleted. – poke Jun 5 '11 at 18:28
@Poke that's not how I read it. "What if I got a great answer and comments on a question" implies "I asked a question and somebody deleted one of my answers that I really liked". As for when (good? great?!) answers get deleted, flag the Q and ask a mod to undelete the answer, or come here and make a post about it. There could be a reason for it to be deleted, or it could be the signs of a ragequit, which are all the rage lately. – jcolebrand Jun 5 '11 at 18:49
@VincentRandal was this a question you asked or an answer you wanted to comment on? – jcolebrand Jun 5 '11 at 18:49
@jcolebrand: Which is the same way I understood it, but your first comment mentioned “question was deleted”.. – poke Jun 5 '11 at 18:56
@Poke because that's kind of how I figured he meant it. That he wrote a great answer on a question and then they were both gone. You'll notice I was asking for more details to begin with. – jcolebrand Jun 5 '11 at 19:04
@jcolebrand Fair enough ;) – poke Jun 5 '11 at 19:07
@jcolebrand, just like the title says: the answer and comments got deleted - the question remains. What do you mean "flag the Q and ask a mod to undelete the answer?" I would like to do that. – Vince Jun 5 '11 at 19:38
And now we have what happened. See this post for help on how to flag a post: Then just wait for help to come to you. If you can put the question link here we can help make things happen faster. – jcolebrand Jun 5 '11 at 19:45
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Someone posted an answer to my question which turned out to solve my problem, but he deleted it. I dropped a comment on my question asking him to undelete it in hopes he would see it if he stuck around. Lucky for me, he saw my comment and undeleted his answer.

However the comment @reply notation doesn't actually do anything special when addressing people who deleted an answer to your question. That was just luck on my part.

I think a better idea is to flag your question asking if a mod can reinstate the answer for you. Also leave a comment, though, as people with high reputation who see your comment can then vote to undelete answers if they agree that the answer helps (and a mod hasn't stepped in yet).

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I really wish I understood better. How do I " flag your question asking if a mod can reinstate the answer for you?" – Vince Jun 5 '11 at 19:41
@Vincent Randal: There's a "flag" link under your question, you can click that, choose "it needs moderator attention", and write a message asking to undelete an answer. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jun 5 '11 at 19:43

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