Uninstall deleted all my files


My sympathies.

I'm pretty sure that by "Arduino plugin", you mean the Arduino Create Plugin (AKA "Arduino Create Agent"):

but I'll ask for confirmation just to be sure, and because this might not be clear to others who read this.


Removal of the CREATE plugin will not delete any other files so I think that may have been a mistake on your part.

Did you use the add remove programs feature of windows or a third party software ?

Did you try it out @ballscrewbob? When I do the standard uninstall process via Windows "Programs and Features" it deletes the entire installation folder, along with any files and folders under the installation folder that are unrelated to the Arduino Create plugin.

Removal of CREATE plugin will BREAK the IDE and vice versa and has been known for a very long time.
Covered in the clean up PDF.

However it will NOT remove other windows programs (tested) and the effect is limited to the IDE / plugin combo.


Mismanagement of folders by a user can cause other side effects to the extent seen.
However I have only been able to reproduce this by deliberately placing things where they should not be !

Was able to successfully recover those but my methods may be beyond a lot of users as they involved data recovery tools and specialised knowledge. But they were only test folders anyway.

An extreme case would be akin to installing your documents folder in the Arduino folders and expecting it to survive an uninstall of the Arduino software.

I am thinking this was not a "normal usage" case.


This isn't about removing other Windows programs. This is about it removing the other files in the installation folder.

per@HAL MINGW64 /e
$ ls -R foobar
'New Text Document.txt'   baz/

'New Text Document - Copy.txt'





per@HAL MINGW64 /e
$ ls -R foobar
ls: cannot access 'foobar': No such file or directory

Covered in my edit above yours.

Sure, I'm not trying to take a stance on whether it's reasonable to expect an uninstaller to leave the installation folder intact because I don't know enough about this sort of thing to have an opinion on the subject. I'm only stating that I'm able to reproduce what @trpleao describes.

Ran some additional tests using third party software (REVO in particular) and the results were the same if not more stringent than a regular un-install.

The DESKTOP folder is certainly NOT a good place to randomly drop files.
This is seen in the amount of people that have deleted it by accident or otherwise if you google it.

Its usage in old terms is as a tombstone holder for the redirects to the real files (shortcuts)
And YES it is easy to re-create the issue suffered by @trpleao, in fact ludicrously simple.

It is certainly not a fault of the IDE or the PLUGIN.
Were they at fault you can be assured we would have seen it more than once and that an issue would have been raised long before this incident.

Boils down to simple mismanagement of the operating system by the end user.
This is a lesser issue than using cloud / network based storage without prior knowledge of how they work.

Hopefully @trpleao can either find his originals in his backups or alternate sources.
Certainly his work created online with the plugin is safe and if his sketchbook was stored in another location as is normally recommended then those too would be safe.
Cannot speak for the other items if the sole copy was held in a folder that was deleted as that requires an IT guy to take a look (sooner rather than later).

AD info...
If the files such as documents were stored in a seperate location on the system they are still there and only the shortcuts will have been lost.

If the user has proper backup routines then again they are not lost and can be recovered very easily.


It may well come up again in the future but that would not change anything said

I can think of maybe one other instance of this specific issue and that too was a misuse of folders a very very long time ago.

It is simply one of those computer lessons we sometimes learn the hard way, and often it gives us the means to move forward with more experience.

Any half decent tech would be able to recover the files quite quickly and easily which was one of the suggestions.
Did you ask around for a tech where you are ?
Did you try any of the free recovery programs available ?

The essence of data recovery is not to use the computer until data recovery has at least been attempted.
Windows has a couple of its own methods that are usually installed and one of those is set up by default to allow a user to roll back to a known good point. The other is a more thorough back up that should be run at least once per week and usually does so when the computer is least likely to be used.

Both those are beyond the remit of Arduino BTW

And if I were working on information for somebody else you can be darned sure I would only be working with a COPY of thier data and never the original.

That is also the nature of programming in that you often VERSION the next copy so you can always revert to a known good copy and keep things SEPERATE from the originals.


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