I have recently purchased your ESP32 course and whilst waiting for my hardware to arrive from eBay have decided to get all the software prepared.
Unfortunately my Arduino software and location of various folders on my PC is in a bit of a mess so decided to delete the whole lot and start again.
The arduino IDE lives in C:/Program Files(x86)/Arduino and my sketch folder with various libraries lives in E:/Documents/Arduino.
My question is does the espressif/esp32 go in to the hardware folder in C:/Program Files(x86)/Arduino/Hardware or can I put it somewhere else like E:/Documents/Arduino in a new folder called hardware, the reason i ask this is when i uninstall the Arduino IDE all of the libraries and hardware definitions of boards loaded after the installation in the IDE disappear, of course the libraries that i have put in to the Libraries subfolder in the sketch folder will remain.
I have actually tried this and cloned the git repository into the sketch folder and when opening the IDE can see the various ESP32 boards.
It does seem to work but will this arrangement cause problems later on.
As I remember, you can define a default path somewhere in the Arduiono IDE. Perhpas you should ask in the Arduino support forum about non standard pathes.
For what you told so far it seems like it might work. But I would personally install the Arduino IDE on the same driver to avoid future problems or missing libraries.
If you select the ESP32 board in your Arduino IDE, can you compile a blink sketch code (for example)? Just to see if it not only recognizes the ESP32, but you can also compile code…