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Home > Windows XP Common Issues > Java Support in Windows XP
August 27, 2015

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Information regarding the Install, use of and uninstallation of the Microsoft Java VM in Windows XP

Last revised: 7th July, 2005

The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) downloads from Microsoft were stopped after law suits with Sun Microsystems the original creators of the Java platform (based on Microsoft extending Java with Windows only elements which would prevent use on other vendors JVM's, breaking cross platform compatibility).

The Microsoft Java Virtual machine was available through the original version of Service Pack 1 for Windows XP that was released on 9th September 2002. If you downloaded Service Pack 1 before February 3, 2003 or have an integrated install of Windows XP with SP1 from before February 3, 2003 you should already have build 3805 of the Microsoft JVM on your system. Microsoft has since been made to create Service Pack 1a that does not include any JVM, and cannot include it in later Service Packs. However if you already have Java installed and upgrade to a later Service Pack it will not be removed.

In technical terms Microsoft's version of Java is now extremely old (Supporting Java up to v1.1) and may have compatibility issues running code that takes advantage of features Sun have added in later versions of their Java Runtime Environment. Unless you need the Microsoft version for compatibility with code that uses proprietary Microsoft Java extensions you should download the Sun version.

If you do not have a Java Virtual machine installed you can download it from the top link below, but you should then visit the windows update to get the latest version available. Having the latest version is extremely important, malicious code can exploit a security vulnerability in versions <3809 which could allow a trojan to be installed on a machine just by viewing a web page. A Trojan is a program that does not normally replicate on a machine, but causes a major security concern. Build 3810 will install only as an upgrade to a previous version, so you must first install 3809 or lower then 3810.

Note: Following a recent settlement Microsoft are now able to issue security updates for their Java VM until Dec 31, 2007.
Originally support was due to end in September 2004.

Microsoft JVM, Build 3805: Download
Microsoft JVM, Build 3810 (Upgrade Only): Download

To download the latest version of Sun Microsystems Java Runtime Click Here

For more information from Microsoft on the Java situation click here

How to check which version of the Microsoft JVM is installed:

Click start and select run. In the run box enter 'cmd' (without quotes).
Now type in 'jview'

If no Microsoft JVM is installed on the system similar text to the following will be returned

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\Mark>jview
'jview' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.

If the following information is returned there is a copy of the Microsoft JVM installed, the version of which is the last 4 numbers on the '
Microsoft (R) Command-line Loader for Java' line.

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\Mark>jview

Microsoft (R) Command-line Loader for Java Version 5.00.3810
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corp 1996-2000. All rights reserved.

Usage: JView [options] <classname> [arguments]


How to Remove the Microsoft JVM:

JVM Removal Tool:

Microsoft released an automatic removal tool for their java virtual machine (build 3802 and up), which they have now removed from the public web site because the removal cannot be reversed, and they no longer provide a method to reinstall the MS-JVM. However you can download the removal tool here

Another tool to help determine what reliance your applications have on the Microsoft Java Virtual Machines is also available here

The Manual Way:

To do this go to Start > Run and paste the following into the run box RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection java.inf,UnInstall
If you are running an older version of the JVM you may need to upgrade to version 3809 or 3810 (windows update) before the above command will work.

You will then be asked if you really want to remove the virtual machine and then reboot. At this point if a message is displayed to the effect of 'removing the JVM will prevent you being able to download files' this refers to files downloaded through java applets rather than regular file downloads. Although the VM has now been removed it has not removed all remnants of the VM's existence from your machine, if you wish you can remove the following without adverse effect.

Registry Keys:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AdvancedOptions\JAVA_VM (Key used for VM entry in IE Advanced Options)

System Folders and Files
(C:\Windows represents the drive and path of your windows install, %windir%)


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