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10 things to try when Java won't install properly

The next time a Java install goes awry, see if one of these fixes gets you back on track.



It seems that more and more Web applications are requiring Java. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be tough to get Java to install properly. This article discusses 10 things you can do when Java fails to install.

1: Verify the error

I have seen a couple of situations in which an installation error was displayed even though Java installed correctly. Therefore, I recommend beginning the troubleshooting process by verifying that Java really isn't working. The easiest way to do this is to go to this special test page, which will tell you conclusively whether Java is working.

2: Remove version conflicts

If the installation appears to succeed, but Java is not working, check to see whether the Java Control Panel exists within the Windows Control Panel. If the Java Control Panel is missing, the problem is often related to a conflict with JavaFX or legacy Java code. In these situations, you should use the Windows Control Panel to remove any instances of Java. After doing so, use the Microsoft uninstaller to clean up any Java fragments. Then, try installing Java again.

3: Use the offline installer

The Web installer for Java tends to be a little bit buggy. That being the case, the offline installer package will sometimes succeed where the Web installer fails. You can download the offline installer for Windows.

4: Try the 32-bit version

If you're having trouble installing a 64-bit version of Java, try using the 32-bit version instead. Although 64-bit Java would seem to be the logical choice for use on a 64-bit operating system, the 32-bit version seems to have fewer issues.

5: Install with administrative privileges

If you run into problems installing Java on Windows 7 or Windows 8, try installing Java as an administrator. To do so, download the offline installer and save it to an empty folder on your hard disk. Then, right-click on the executable file and choose the Run As Administrator command from the shortcut menu.

6: Temporarily disable User Account Control

Some people have reported that the User Account Control feature gets in the way of installing Java. If you suspect that the User Account Control feature is causing your problem, you can temporarily disable it until after the installation is complete. The method for doing so depends on the version of Windows you're using. In Windows 8, the option to change the User Account Control settings is found in the Control Panel under System And Security | Action Center.

7: Set Internet Explorer's security to the default level

If Internet Explorer is configured to use a higher-than-default security level or if it is running a custom security level, there is a possibility that Java may be blocked. You can set Internet Explorer to the default security level by opening your browser and selecting the Internet Options command from the Tools menu. When the Internet Options dialog box appears, click on the Security tab and click the Default Level button. Click OK to save your changes.

8: Temporarily disable your antivirus scanning

There have been some reports of antivirus software preventing Java from being installed. If you want to see whether your antivirus is causing your problem, I recommend downloading the offline installer, updating your antivirus software, and then performing a full system scan. This will help make sure that there are no infections on your system before you disable the antivirus software.

Once you're confident that your system is free of malware, you can temporarily disable the antivirus scanning process. The method of doing so will depend on the antivirus product you are using, but often it is possible to right-click on the antivirus software's taskbar icon and choose a pause option from a shortcut menu. When you have finished attempting your Java installation, don't forget to re-enable antivirus scanning.

9: Check for a corrupt user profile

According to Microsoft, a corrupt user profile can cause problems with Java installations. Try creating a new user and assign that user local administrative permissions. Then, log in using the new user account and try installing Java.

10: Use the System Configuration tool

Since problems with Java installations are often related to other software that is running on the system, you may be able to fix the problem by temporarily disabling other startup items. The easiest way to do that is to open a Run prompt and enter the MSCONFIG command. This launches the Windows System Configuration utility, which allows you to choose the startup items that you want to disable without requiring any permanent changes to the operating system.

Other tricks?

Have you found some other workarounds or fixes for dealing with Java install headaches? Share your suggestions with fellow TechRepublic members.

7 comments
Sybrash
Sybrash

Brien Posey,  I love you!  I have spent about 5 hours reading tons of articles installing all kinds of software.....I typed my inquiry into my browser a little bit different and came up with your article.  The first thing I tried was the offline install and voila!  They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over and expecting different results - well, I must be insane because I tried it the other way a dozen times.  Thanks for a very helpful article!  :)

craig
craig

  Your point 4, using 32 bit in lieu of 64 bit.  I seem to have read somewhere that if you are using a 32 bit browser you need 32 bit Java, and 64 bit browsers need 64 bit Java.  The operating system bit size would therefore have little impact on what Java version you need.  Just a thought.  http://www.java.com/en/download/faq/java_win64bit.xml

Randy Myers
Randy Myers

Sanders this is a no no in my book. It leaves your system wide open to prodding and receiving worms or viruses.

Sanders Kaufman Jr.
Sanders Kaufman Jr.

I just ignored failed installs of Java, and wait for the corporation that makes it to fix their buggy installer.

PhilippeV
PhilippeV

@craig yes if you use a 32-bit browser you can only use 32-bit java (the web integration plugin for 32 bit browsers must be 32bit but cannot run and control a 64-bit VM for now)

If you use a 4 bit browser, you can use either the 32bit version or the 64 bit version of Java (you  may install both, but by default the browser will then use the 64 bit version), this works because the 64-bit plugin (for web browser integration can create and control a 32 bit VM or a 64 bit VM without difficulties.).

But the real need for the 64 bit version of Jaba is generally not to run web plugins inserted in a web page. it is for running local applications that need much more memory than just the VM limited to a bit more than 2.5GB. Some applications need lot of memory notably those that handle large databases, or GIS editors for editing maps on very large areas and with lots of relational objects and geographic nodes, or imagery codec, or complex CAD applications, or financial applications computing lots of statistics, or applications running their own web server instance to host a web service with many connected users and complex processing rules (generating data cubes, or thermodynamic and nuclear research, or development of complex enterprise applications with lots of components and complex buildi files.

The force of Java is exactly there: when it manages LOTS of data and wants this data to be processed in a very safe VM environment without piece of data colliding each other, or when these data use lots of distinct datatypes in complex hierarchies that is hard to assert in usual object languages like C+, which are too much persmissive and do not check many things at compile time. Java also self-optimize large applications better than C++ which is complied but not well optimized and tuned for the machine on which it will run effectively. Java compilesits code in two separate step: the .JAR binaries have performed most datatype safety checks at compile time, and made the binary more easily reparsable on the target machine where it will berecompiled, and then tuned dynamically at runtie with constant monitoring, without breaking any existing rules already checked at compiletime when the class files or JARs were produced.

A VM architecuture also allows two separate optimisations, one performed by the Java program designer concentrating on what the program must do and how data will be structured, the seconde one being performed by real gods of JIT recompilation, optimized specifically on the effective final system.

Java also offers very great programming environments (notably the excellent Eclipse, much better and muchsmarter than most (costly) IDE built in C++ for C++ programs such as the horrible Visual Studio, both techncally in terms of quality of code produced, but as well in termes of UI usability with lots of very smart assistants), including as an Java-wititen IDE for programming C++, and adaptable to complex developmenet scenari integrating all steps of softxare development, from design, to prototyping, planification, tracing bugs,.cooperation between developers, development, profiling, tuning, smart suggestions of improvement, refactoring, source cleanup, automated tests, bug tracing, bug management, analaysis of dependancies...