Under XP Media Center Edition SP2, I'm using Java 1.4.2_03, mostly as a requirement for accessing my WebCT account for schoolwork. Whenever I log out of WebCT, my computer restarts. Such restarts also occur when exiting other (seemingly) Java-dependent apps - like when closing pop-up ad windows under Mozilla 1.0.7.
My next step was going to be to uninstall/reinstall the J2RE. However:
In attempting to uninstall "Java 2 Runtime Environment, SE v1.4.2_03" via XP's "Add or Remove Progams," initiating the uninstall creates an attempt to open a "Java Plug-in Control Panel" window, which subsequently does not open; then, upon closing (or killing) this window, XP restarts (and "Java 2 Runtime Environment, SE v1.4.2_03" remains on the Add/Remove Progams list.
Ughh! Nasty little problem. Do you have to use that exact JRE version? Simply installing a more recent version "over the top" might fix it. If that's not an option, or doesn't work, then you might need to do a manual uninstall, followed by a fresh install.
WARNING! This involves manually editing the registry. While this is something I would happily do to my own machine, I feel a little strange recommending it to a total stranger. In short backup your system, do not attempt if you're at all squeamish about such things, I make no guarantees, yada, yada, yada.
Open your Registry Editor (regedit.exe). It's really helpful to be a local administrator, too. BTW, in registry parlance, keys are the "folders" on the left side of the editor, values are the name/value pairs on the right side.
Delete the key 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/JavaSoft/Java Runtime Environment/1.4.2_03' (just the last component, 1.4.2_03, not the whole path!).
Under 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/JavaSoft/Java Runtime Environment', change the 'CurrentVersion' value to something other than '1.4' or '1.4.2_03'.
For good measure, under 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/JavaSoft/Java Plug-in', delete the '1.4.2_03' key.
(optional) Search the registry for "Java 2 Runtime Environment". You should find a match somewhere under 'HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/Installer/Products/BigLongGuid12345' or some such. Delete that GUID key to remove the entry from Add/Remove Programs.
Delete the JRE under C:\Program Files\Java\j2re1.4.2_03.
The JRE installer should now think it's a fresh install.
Turn off anti-aliasing on your video card, it is likely enabled by accident!
I had the EXACTLY THE SAME SYMPTOMS, and after desperately searching the internet I found that the harmless Anti-Aliasing mode I enabled in windows using my GeForce control panel, wasn't so harmless. It can still be enabled just fine in games, just not to run in the default windows mode. Alternatively, try updating your video card.
Search for video problems with java for more details.
Yep, I have a GeForce 6800 and there are numerous reports that java has been crashing on the newer graphics cards. If its not Anti-aliasing I'd check other issues involving the graphics card, I'm sure its in there somewhere.
I've read a few of the long posts (and there are some reallylong ones out there!), and I can some it up in one sentence: Sun/Java is blaming the graphics companies for writing bad drivers, and the graphics companies are blaming Sun/Java for bad code.
Basically no one wants to fix it, they'd rather claim the other needs to fix it. I'm sure it will get fixed eventually, it'll just be awhile.