TLDR: OK to repeat someone else's old, unanswered question if (as a creditless newbie) I can't vote it up or comment or otherwise help bring it to attention?

Details: I encountered an issue and wanted to ask a technical question (on Super User, as it happens; but I guess the question is relevant to all Stack Exchange sites). It's a rather obscure issue, and I assumed I may be the first to ask about it (and was skeptical that anyone would have a resolution).

But as I started typing the title, there was a suggestion ("Questions that may already have your answer") that linked to a question that someone else already asked, which is the exact question I had. I was happy to find this (and of course stopped typing my redundant question), but unfortunately, no one answered it yet.

But now, I wanted to vote this question up - and I can't. As a newbie, I don't have enough reputation. I also wanted (in a comment) to ask the person who posted this whether he had already found an answer somehow (it's been a while since he posted his question). But I can't do that either, for the same reason.

In such case: is it legitimate to somehow repeat the question? Or is that "littering" the site?

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    What about editing the old question to get more attention on it? There's probably opportunity for improvement if it didn't got an answer yet. As soon your edit is accepted the question would be bumped up to the main page again. – πάντα ῥεῖ Mar 11 '18 at 9:45
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    It's unethical. Instead edit to improve the old question always and upvote it once it has been made clear enough to be useful, and maybe share it to your Twitter followers while you are at it. – PolyGeo Mar 11 '18 at 11:50

Technically... you don't. Well, you can, but effectively doing this needs you to actually get how people on the site think.

One option might be to answer a few questions, earn a little reputation, then blow it all on a bounty. This needs actual work, and is the safest option.

But sometimes you gotta live a little dangerously. You could cite the original question, and write a better question with additional information. Duplicates do not necessarily go from "oldest to newest". If its obscure enough, you might choose to be cheeky and not cite it. Question quality is what is going to save your question if the other one dosen't have an answer. Go above and beyond. The fact that the other question has no answer could be in your favour.

If you're at least a little internet famous... tweet, facebookify or otherwise socially spam the question and see if it gets answered.

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    Just a side note: IIRC a newly asked question can't be marked as duplicate, if the target doesn't have an answer. – πάντα ῥεῖ Mar 11 '18 at 10:02
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    @πάνταῥεῖ it can be marked as a duplicate by a moderator even without an answer. – PolyGeo Mar 11 '18 at 11:40
  • @PolyGeo Fair Point. It's also possible if the question was asked by the same OP IIRC. – πάντα ῥεῖ Mar 11 '18 at 11:42
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    Hence the emphasis on question quality. I'd rather have a new/better question as the master – Journeyman Geek Mar 11 '18 at 12:00
  • Thanks everyone for your answers and comments. Very helpful, glad I asked. Regarding my duplicate question - I don't think the reason people didn't answer is because of the quality of the question; I'm afraid it's simply (and sadly) because no one has a solution (and perhaps there is no solution at all... it's a small technical issue with MS-Word, and it's not out of the question that Microsoft just had a design issue. This happens with software sometimes... – ynagar Mar 12 '18 at 19:56

I can't vote it up or comment or otherwise help bring it to attention?

As mentioned in my comment, you can always propose an edit to the old question. And there's probably room for improvement, if that question didn't get an answer yet.

As soon your edit is accepted the question would be bumped to the main page under the active tab again.

In such case: is that legit to somehow repeat the question? or is that "littering" the site?

I don't think it's good to ask an exact duplicate question, even not if there's no answer yet.

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