The uninstallation of files does not always seem to work as intended on Windows XP; it is no secret that the system folder grows over time which can mostly be attributed to programs adding their files to it but not removing them again when they are uninstalled.
If you delete a program directory by hand for example all dll files in the system directory remain where they are. There is also the case where you want to uninstall a program and a window pops up asking whether you want to delete a driver that is found in that directory. It is often not clear if you should delete a file as it may be used by other programs as well.
DLL Archive is a free program that helps you clear this mess. The freeware scans and verifies all dll files on your system and adds some to a list of dlls that are most likely obsolete. Most likely means that there is of course a chance that a particular dll is still needed.
The files do not get deleted outright because of this. They are instead moved to an archive folder on your system so that you can move them back in case they are still needed by another program or the system. You may not notice right away that something is amiss, considering that you may need to run another program that uses the file first to see a negative effect. Sometimes, you may also need to restart the system to make sure it boots just fine and the system does not throw any error messages.
If you receive errors you should move the dll that is -hopefully - listed in the error message back to the system directory. I performed a scan and it found more than 450 dll files that DLL Archive marked as obsolete. I decided to archive them all and see what would happen. Well, nothing happened at all. The operating system booted as usual and all programs that I use on a daily basis worked just fine. Note that your experience may be different.
The size of the DLLArchive folder was 196 megabytes, this is huge if you ask me. I suggest you keep those files at least for a week and see if any error pops up at a later time. If none appears delete them or back them up to a CD or DVD before you do so.
The program works on all recent versions of the Windows operating system according to the developer website (with the exception of Windows 8 which is not listed on it).
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.