Java Wont Run on My Windows XP?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Pam S. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I love your newsletter and it has helped me very much! One problem I've been having with my computer is the inability to run Java Scripts over the web. When my computer tries to initiate Java, a Window appears and tells me that it is missing shortcuts and cannot continue to run.

I was told by a friend that I will have to reformat and possibly change operating systems ... I found that Windows 2000 was too difficult to use, so at this point, I reformatted and installed Windows XP Pro. Will I have to reformat again? "

My response:

As I recall, Windows XP (before the release of Service Pack 1) does not support Java. I managed to find a link on the 'net which briefly details a legal battle between Microsoft and Sun Microsystems just before Windows XP was released to the public:

" [July, 2001] ... Microsoft said it plans to phase out support for Java in key desktop software products. Beginning with Windows XP and its upcoming Internet Explorer 6 Web browser, Microsoft will no longer include a built-in Java Virtual Machine, instead requiring users to download the program from Microsoft's Web site or from a third-party vendor.

The turnaround comes as Microsoft and Java-creator Sun Microsystems continue a longtime dispute over support for Java. The companies settled a four-year-old lawsuit in January in which Sun had accused Microsoft of trying to 'pollute' the technology by using an incompatible version in its products. As part of the settlement, Microsoft agreed to pay Sun $20 million and was restricted to using an older version of Java in its software. It denied any wrongdoing. " (Source:

Installing supplemental Java support on a Windows Machine

Since the release of Windows XP, Sun Microsystems has developed a Java Runtime which will enable Java support for all Windows machines. The first link does an automated install via the web, while the second link undertakes manual installation.

PS: If you haven't installed Windows XP Service Pack 1 already, you really need to do that -- and all subsequent patches released by MS. Be prepared to spend (at minimum) a couple of hours downloading and applying patches from the Windows Update web site:

Post Update: Backing up your Operating System changes

To save yourself the hassle if having to reinstall all of these update (incase Windows crashes), you should backup your operating system using a disk image.

In short, disk imaging is *the only* sure-fire way to make a complete backup of your operating system: if your system ever gets hit with a virus or your hard drive dies, you can revert back to a disk image and be back up and running within minutes. In my opinion, Disk imaging is 100 times better than Roxio GoBack, and 1000 times better than System Restore, and I've used it countless times to save my own hide.

While preparing this article over the weekend, I decided to revamp / shorten a previously written article on disk imaging. The article (based on Acronis TrueImage) is written in simple English and explains key imaging terminology. It also introduces the notion of hard drive partitioning with respect to disk imaging and is definitely an interesting read:

Acronis True Image v8.0 Review

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