Tip #219: What Is "Tune Up Application Start"?
If you use Windows 98, you may discover a Task Scheduler item called "Tune-up Application Start." What's that all about? Relax. You're not infected with a virus, and this small utility should have positive effects on performance.
Windows 98 uses a program called Walign.exe to physically rearrange the code for Office 95 and Office 97 program files so that it fits perfectly in your disk cache. A different program, called Winalign.exe, does the same job for other programs. (It's available only as part of the expensive Windows 98 Resource Kit.) The effect -- at least on older computers -- is to reduce the time it takes to load big programs. The built-in Windows defragmenter and Norton's SpeedDisk expand the capabilities of WinAlign by monitoring the programs you use most frequently and aligning them automatically as part of the defragmentation process.
A Microsoft Knowledge Base article, "Description of the Walign.exe and Winalign.exe Tools", explains how these utilities work.
Don't expect miracles from Walign, especially if you've got an up-to-date PC. This utility was originally designed for use in an era when 32MB was a lot of RAM. If you have more than 64MB of RAM and a fast CPU, the difference will be barely noticeable. In addition, newer programs like Windows 2000 are already "aligned," eliminating the need for Walign.exe. If you use Windows Me, the Walign.exe program is still in the Windows\System folder, but it doesn't run automatically as it does in Windows 98.