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Under this question, I asked the poster a number of clarifying questions in the comments. The clarifications have quickly become rather unwieldy, so I decided to move the discussion to chat (with the help of the moderators), leaving only a couple of lead-in comments. Now I see the chatroom is gone. It contained some valuable information that clarified the asker’s situation and would be quite helpful in providing a relevant answer.

Can this chatroom be restored? And more generally, what is the best course of action in a situation like this?

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Done.

In general, the best course of action is to ping a moderator in chat – or failing that, raise a chat flag. All network moderators would be able to help you with this. (Though meta's never a bad bet; the three Retrocomputing mods get notified when a question goes up here.)

If you want to prevent a room from being automatically frozen or deleted, posting a dummy message like “bump”, “thaw” or “THIS IS SPARTAAAAAAA!” in it once a week would suffice. (Though make sure you're not spamming; productive conversation is preferable.)

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  • Is this permanent or will it get automatically deleted again? Bumping was not an option in this case. I didn’t see any chat flag option at the 404 page either. Oct 27 '20 at 19:17
  • @user3840170 It's temporary – but if three or more users post, iirc it'll just get frozen instead of deleted. (Three users already posted, so I clearly don't remember correctly.)
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Oct 27 '20 at 20:20
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    By “chat flag” I meant flagging some other message – perhaps post something in the Sandbox and then flag it with a “hey, could you unfreeze [so and so] room please?”. Though I can't remember the conventions involved with doing that, and I do remember that the way that comes naturally to me wound up a lot of people back in 2016, so… take my advice with a pinch of salt.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Oct 27 '20 at 20:22
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    Gone again. chat.stackexchange.com/faq#retention claims the room is retained when 15 messages are posted on it; maybe it can be undeleted again so that I can post some spam to keep it around. Nov 4 '20 at 8:59
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    @user3840170 Thanks for letting me know; I forgot that posts from negatively-numbered users don't count for that. I posted a dummy message to mark it as active, which has also put it over the 15 message limit (it was one off!), so that shouldn't be necessary.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Nov 4 '20 at 18:00
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    May I ask: I fairly frequently see on some sites where I'm more active that mods move comments to chat once they feel those get too noisy. Well, that's expected. But quite sometimes mods are too fast with that, meaning the comments moved are below the deletion limit. Do you take care actively not to move 'too few comments' to a chat? Nov 12 '20 at 19:28
  • @LаngLаngС Personally, I rarely move comments to chat when there are fewer than 20 (which is when the system lets us mods know); it's a long time since I've interacted with the site other than through the flag queues. (I'm actually “absent” right now, not that I'm paying much attention to that.) That being said, I used to move comments to the BBS (where they definitely wouldn't get deleted), until people told me off for it.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Nov 12 '20 at 19:33
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Would it be better if you now modify the original question to include the clarifications, on behalf of the questioner? This seems more in keeping with the intent of comments, which are not meant for extended dialogue. This would make it much easier for anyone reading the question in future to understand without having to read through the chat or the comments.

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  • I guess that could work, except the chatroom is gone again… Though there isn’t that much left to integrate at this point. Maybe I could incorporate the photo of the back of the unit somehow. Nov 4 '20 at 9:04

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