At least on Windows, it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to keep track of all the places plug-ins may install themselves… with various bits lurking. This is a management NIGHTMARE. In 15 years of Cubasing I have =never= been able to do a completely transparent install/re-install when moving machines or replacing parts. The problem has rarely been a dongle. It’s ALMOST ALWAYS been that one or more plug-ins needed to ‘see’ a previous virtual folder or drive connection OUTSIDE of the folders indicated in Cubase.
One small step… At the very least, when any plug-in installs, it should scan for the ‘official’ Plug-In folders that the user has designated in Cubase Plug-In Manager. Instead? Most plug-ins simply default to ‘common/whatever’ or /VSTPlugins. Lazy! Cubase should refuse to register plugs that don’t follow that protocol.
Also, the VST standard should REFUSE to allow plugs to access files outside a certain domain (ie. outside of certain prescribed folders). The current state is that every plug can have as many darned folder locations they like.
My Poster Child for this was Alchemy. That company DESERVED to die, simply because they insisted on having the most convoluted file storage system ever invented. It -never- re-installed or updated properly! (Halion Symphonic Orchestra and Groove Agent are close seconds!) They created registry entries and goofy supplemental folders all over the place.
This protocol must DIE. Plug-In vendors must be encouraged (or compelled) to store ALL files in consistent, predictable spots… based on the settings the USER dictates in Plug-In Manager. Otherwise, long term management of projects is simply impossible.