Virtually all Windows applications use a variety of control and configuration files. One of the most common types are DLL files, typically installed in the Windows\System subdirectory. Few people are familiar with DLLs and their corresponding applications. And it's unlikely anyone could know them all. As you make changes to your software, especially by uninstalling or removing applications, DLL files are sometimes left behind. These are space hogging artifacts you no longer want or need.
Want to clean out some of those pesky DLL files that get left over throughout your system when you uninstall programs? Aren't sure which ones are safe to delete and which ones need to be there? Then AnalogX DLL Archive is just what you're looking for!
DLL Archive searches your system for all DLL files (or any other extension you configure it to look for). It then searches another set of files to verify they contain no references to the files in question. When complete, you are provided with a list of files that are more than likely unused and just wasting space on your system!
Of course, nothing is perfect. So DLL Archive lets you go through the list and select which ones it should archive. These files are moved into a special directory (aka folder). There's a very important reason for this -- you don't want to just delete files without knowing for sure they aren't necessary for some program. Otherwise you may discover, the hard way, you now have programs that no longer function properly. After you run DLL Archive, use your system for a while. Give it time for all the software you normally use to be put to the test. Then, when everything appears to be operating as expected, you can go to the archive directory and remove the files. Or you may leave them there, safe in the knowledge that your system directory has a few less nasty DLL's in it. Need the space but afraid to permanently toss the files? Save them to diskettes. That way you can always recover from a mistake.
Operation is very easy. Just click on the `Search' button. DLL Archive goes to work searching every single drive and directory on your computer! Once it builds it's initial listing of files, it then goes back through and analyses the results. Finally it displays what it's found. Then you simply select files, right-click (or use the control button) to archive them, and you're good to go.
Several configuration options are provided to help you get the most out of this handy utility. These (surprisingly) can be found by pressing the Configuration button.
* 'Search Removable' enables searching on removable devices
such as floppy drives or a JAZZ/ZIP drive.
* 'Search Remote' instructs it to search any network drives on the system.
* 'Only OS Directory' tells it to ignore any files outside of
the Windows directory.
* 'Only display 0-hits' will cause it to only show files that have no matches
(and are good candidates for archiving).
The actual archive is stored in the Windows directory, in a subdirectory named `DLLArchive'. The program creates a file in this subdirectory entitled `filelist.txt'. DO NOT MODIFY OR DELETE THIS FILE!!! It contains the path and filename information for all the files in the archive. Files cannot be removed from the archive (via the program) without this file. Appropriate DLL files can be manually deleted from this directory. But the program knows how to deal with that automatically.
Before you choose `Archive All', be sure to look through the files and verify they all appear to be unused! You can right-click on a file to retrieve additional information about a DLL (if any exist). This usually includes the developer, version, etc. There are usually a few files in every system that will invalidly appear to not have references. This is because they're either generated by an executable or stashed inside some file that DLL Archive wasn't configured to scan.
DLL Archive keeps a log of everything it does in the same directory as it's executable program. This is entitled `dllarch.log'. In case you move a file into the archive and somehow something goes wrong, you may view this log using any text editor (such as Notepad or Wordpad).
In the event you go crazy and end up archiving and then deleting files that are necessary, it's usually best to reinstall an application in order to get the required DLL's again. Of course, if you saved to diskettes, you can easily recover needed files from these. Just be sure to copy files back into their correct directory. There are repositories of DLL's on the Internet. These can be used as a means of last resort. But be careful since the version may not be the same as your software (and therefore cause more harm than good).