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IE7 Java Crash
Tuesday, July 31, 2007

(The following was done/tested with Windows XP. It may or may not apply to other versions)

IE7 (Internet Explorer v7) is fairly stable, so I was a bit surprised when a user reported that it was crashing every time she tried to visit a specific web site, with the following error message:

Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

The exact error dialog is reproduced in Fig. 1 below.

Fig. 1 - IE7 has crashed

Figure 1 - IE7 crash

This had started happening suddenly a day or two ago, and simple remedies like restarting the PC had not helped. I was called in because this was an important web site with accounting data that she needed to access every few days.

Attempted Solutions

I observed that the crash only happened when she visited this one specific web site, and it happened each time she went there. The web site URL was in the IE favorites list, and this problem had not been seen before with that web site.

I also noted that this website was trying to launch some sort of Java applet from Oracle. The user reported installing an update for Java a day or two ago, as well as a series of Windows updates that appeared as normal updates in the system tray.

I had heard reports of a recent ,NET upgrade causing problems for some people, so we started by uninstalling KB928365 (see Ref. no. 1) using the Add/Remove Programs control panel. However, this had no impact on the problem.

Next, we uninstalled the latest Java Runtime that had been installed the day before (version 6, update 2) but that made no difference. We reinstalled the previous Java Runtime that had been there (version 5 update 10) but no improvement then, either.

We attempted to do a "System Restore" (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Restore) to a date before the problem the appeared, but for some reason this failed to work, with an error message like "the System could not be restored".

Then we reinstalled IE7 after downloading it from the Microsoft download site (see Ref. no. 2 below) but even that did not help.

The Solution

For the solution, I examined the IE add-on controls (IE -> Tools -> Internet Options -> Settings (Browsing History) -> View Objects) and this showed the list in Fig. 2 below.

Fig. 2 - IE7 add-ons

Figure 2 - IE7 add-ons

Since the error was with a specific web site, and the web site was apparently using the Oracle Jinitiator control, I decided to remove that control. First, I right-clicked on the Jinitiator and selected "Remove", but that failed to remove it, so we quit Internet Explorer, and Removed it via the Add/Remove Programs control panel.

This time, when we launched IE7 and went to that web site, it offered to download the same control/applet we had just removed, Oracle Jinitiator v1.3.1.9, and we let it install again. Suddenly things were looking more promising, because there was no IE crash.

When we quit IE and restarted it, and went to that same web site, things worked normally with no crash. We even reinstalled Java runtime version 6 update 2, and things are still working well since.

Note added Sep. 10. 2008:

Since I posted this article, a number of people have left comments and suggested other workarounds and solutions (see below). The fix posted by reader JB, dated July 3, 2008 (see below) seems to have worked for a number of others, so I am repeating it here in case you want to try it first. To quote JB:

"We have found a workaround that allows us to keep those extensions enabled. If you replace the problematic jvm.dll under C:\Program Files\Oracle\JInitiator <ver number>\bin\hotspot, with the one from your actual Java install (ours is located under C:\Program Files\Java\j2re1.4.2_04\bin\client), then it seems to work again.

This worked for us on both IE6 and IE7 machines."

Discussion

I suppose the general lesson here is that if IE7 crashes for no apparent reason, esp. when visiting specific URL's, the problem may be due to add-ons, like Java applets, ActiveX controls, even Toolbars. Uninstalling as many of those as it takes to get things stable again is probably the way to go.

References

  1. Description of the security update for the .NET Framework 2.0 for Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000: July 10, 2007 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928365.
  2. Internet Explorer v7 download page.

Comments
(in order from older to newest)

"I had the same problem. I did the same things and the problem went away for a while then it came back. I switched to Mozilla :( I like IE but can't get it to work properly and I am getting tired of fixing Windows/ Java problem. Switching to Mozilla the problem appears to be gone. Any light on this problem would be nice."

Sep. 13, 2007, 12:14 AM by Gredio.

"I think the problem is that the same instance of Internet Explorer can't load 2 different versions of JVM (the one of Jinitiator + one associated to another applet). If you have different instances of Internet Explorer it may work properly."

Sep. 24, 2007, 11:31 AM by PCS.

"I resolved this problem by un-installing Windows Live Sing-in-Assistant on my computer."

Oct. 5, 2007, 5:18 AM by Enrique.

"Exactly. If you run Oracle applications, get rid of Windows Live Toolbar. In some cases a shortcut on the desktop (using a fresh instance of IE) will work, while the same URL picked from Favorites will crash the browser."

Nov. 28, 2007, 4:57 AM by JLY.

"I have a similar problem at this moment and I am at a loss for a proper solution. Certain URLs crashed while logging on/visiting. I uninstalled Java and am now able to visit the web site but not able to connect to associated links as these operate only with java applets. Any one with a solution?"

Jan. 14, 2008, 12:23 AM by arunp.

"I had the problem with users that use our Oracle home grown app that uses Jinitiator 1.3.1.22 and the issue is all users that reported the issue have Windows Live tool bar. I installed it on my test machine and yes it reproduced the problem......"

Jan. 25, 2008, 3:33 PM by DJ.

"IE 7 has just started crashing with this error - but only when I close the main IE window or any stand-alone daughter window that the programme/web site generates. No problem with visiting particular sites or with opening and closing tabs. The closing of daughter windows is the main issue as this results in IE7 closing down completely so I lose the main IE window and of course any additional IE tabs to other sites. I've started to look at whether this is Java related and have uninstalled some recent runtime updates - but the problem persists. I have also downloaded and re-intsalled IE7 in the hope that this would over-write the problem but unfortunately this hasn't worked. Anyone had the same or similar? Suggestions welcome."

Jan. 29, 2008, 8:51 AM by RJD.

"We are experiencing the same issue with IE 7 crashing when users are using Oracle Jinitiator. We disabled the shockwave flash object plug-in and that seem to work on some computer while it doesn't work at all on others."

May 6, 2008, 5:14 PM by pxd.

"I am experiencing this issue with JInitiator as well. What I have been able to narrow it down to is Office 2007. If Office 2007 is installed, JInitiator will cause IE7 to crash. If Office 2003 is installed, access to website works fine."

May 16, 2008, 10:31 AM by rp.

"This fixes many IE7 - Jinitiator problems also: From Internet Explorer go to "Tools" / "Internet Options" / "Advanced" and uncheck "Enable third party browser extensions""

June 11, 2008, 2:00 PM by MLB.

"I was facing a problem with IE7, particularly with Oracle Jinitiator 1.3.1.22, opening Oracle application was showing jvm.dll error. Problem was fixed with the method below:

"Tools" / "Internet Options" / "Advanced" and uncheck "Enable third party browser extensions""

June 17, 2008, 2:46 AM by Najeeb.

"To Najeeb with the jvm.dll issue -

We have found a workaround that allows us to keep those extensions enabled. If you replace the problematic jvm.dll under C:\Program Files\Oracle\JInitiator <ver number>\bin\hotspot, with the one from your actual Java install (ours is located under C:\Program Files\Java\j2re1.4.2_04\bin\client), then it seems to work again.

This worked for us on both IE6 and IE7 machines."

July 3, 2008, 11:04 AM by JB.

"I suddenly encountered the IE7 with Oracle Jinitiator 1.3.1.22 problem; crashing and showing jvm.dll error. My problem was also fixed by this method: "Tools" / "Internet Options" / "Advanced" and uncheck "Enable third party browser extensions"."

July 7, 2008, 3:31 PM by TDR.

"Thank you!

I resolved this problem by un-installing Windows Live Sing-in-Assistant on my computer. Un-installing the jinitiator also (just in case)...

Solved the problem."

July 25, 2008, 11:59 AM by Mike P.

"I performed this solution and problem solved thanks:

"We have found a workaround that allows us to keep those extensions enabled. If you replace the problematic jvm.dll under C:\Program Files\Oracle\JInitiator <ver number>\bin\hotspot, with the one from your actual Java install (ours is located under C:\Program Files\Java\j2re1.4.2_04\bin\client), then it seems to work again."

This worked for us on both IE6 and IE7 machines."

July 31, 2008, 4:53 AM by CK.

"My Problem was also fixed by this method:

"Tools" / "Internet Options" / "Advanced" and uncheck "Enable third party browser extensions"."

..Thanks guys for the workaround."

Aug. 4, 2008, 2:32 PM by Atul J.

"JB's solution dated July 3 worked perfectly for me. Thanks JB !!

With this you don't have to disable any of the IE 7 add-ons, you can keep all your existing add-ons enabled."

Aug. 6, 2008, 2:20 AM by Boriah.

"Similar problem for me: IE7 + windows XP SP3 + Oracle Jinitiator 1.3.1.22

Symptom: as soon as we try to launch web forms IE crashes

Solution: uninstall windows live toolbar"

Aug. 13, 2008, 8:14 AM by toto.

"I also faced this problem in opening Oracle Jinitiator 1.3.1.22 , but When I copied the file From C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_07\bin\client\jvm.dll To C:\Program Files\Oracle\JInitiator 1.3.1.22\bin\hotspot\jvm.dll the problem solved, thanks for the first one wrote this solution."

Aug. 30, 2008, 6:16 AM by Mohammad A.

"JB's solution dated July 3 worked perfectly for me. Excellent, Thanks JB !!

With this you don't have to disable any of the IE 7 add-ons; you can keep all your existing add-ons enabled."

Sep. 4, 2008, 6:22 AM by AA.

"Thanks to all, I installed the latest shockwave (flash) player and the problem starts with me. I tried the first solution but it didn't work with me, because I don't have this directory (C:\Program Files\Java\j2re1.4.2_04\bin\client). So I disabled the Third-Party checkbox."

Oct. 18, 2008, 4:07 AM by Adam

"Oracle Jinitiator 1.3.1.22 was crashing both my IE and Firefox browsers and it was making me crazy. Copying the Java jvm.dll to Oracle solved the problem. Thank you so much for this solution!"

Oct. 24, 2008, 8:27 AM by Nikki

"A big kiss for you and JB :-)) It works now (Jinitiator 1.3.1.26 + Windows Server 2003)."

Nov. 24, 2008, 5:18 AM by brundo

"Oracle application was not running on vista. I just copied jvm.dll from C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_07\bin\client to C:\Program Files\Oracle\JInitiator 1.3.1.22\bin\hotspot and problem resolved. Thanks a lot to all of you."

Dec. 1, 2008, 4:41 AM by Akshay

"In my case it was a different add-on: Skype add-on (Mastermind).

Disable that, and JInitiator works fine."

Dec. 15, 2008, 9:57 AM by Paul

"Thank you for the Sep 10 2008 suggestion. It's working great here."

Dec. 17, 2008, 5:23 PM by DGM

"The solution mentioned above on July 3 worked for me as well."

Dec. 24, 2008, 10:05 AM by Rayman

"Thanks for the notes on this, however, the only thing that ended up working was rolling back IE to 6sp1 from 7. Office 2007 and IE 7 and jInitiator as a combination are the problem. Rolling back to IE6 seems to have fixed the issues for now....."

Jan. 5, 2009, 2:05 PM by Mark C.

"Running IE7 on Windows Vista I have JInitiator 1.3.1.28 working after the JVM.dll fixed listed above.

When running multiple sessions IE would crash due to Vista opening eveything in the same browser in a new tab. I disabled tabbed browsing and it has been working fine when having multiple forms/instances open."

Jan. 28, 2009, 2:45 PM by JEV

"Replacing the jvm.dll worked for all 4 versions of jinitiator we're using. No add-in's or toolbars need to be disabled at least for us.

Copy jvm.dll from the sun java directory to the jinitiator\bin\hotspot."

Feb. 25, 2009, 7:36 AM by Nick

"I had the same problem too. I can't try the first solution because I can't find the directory C:/Program Files/Java/j2re1.4.2/bin/client. So, I tried the second one that works very well. However, I would like to use the second instead. Where can I find the directory JAVA?"

Mar. 13, 2009, 2:55 PM by charly

"Thanks a lot, copying jvm.dll from the sun java installation worked!"

Mar. 20, 2009, 10:35 AM by shortmanikos

"Thanks for this solution, copying jvm.dll from my jre to jinit. But I found 1 more problem. Everything works fine except Oracle WebUtil file creaton on cilent side. There is something wrong with character encoding. Before I upgraded IE to 7 this works fine. Now with IE 7 and copied jvm.dll file creation (encoding) doesn't work OK. Any ideas?"

May 14, 2009, 12:03 AM by BoMa

"This problem was teasing me from long time. But i got this solution of copying jvm.dll into program files oracle/jinitiator/bin/hotspot. My problem was solved."

May 30, 2009, 4:24 AM by Vaibhav

"IE Crash (v6) - It's hard to believe this has been happening for two years and we just started experiencing it in the last 6 weeks. Out of our 200+ users, 6 have had this problem. We had no clues as to why this suddenly started, but installing the MSN Toolbar v3.0 definately creates the problem. We are using Jinitiator 1.3.1.18 "

Aug. 27, 2009, 7:02 AM by CH

"Chamo vos soys el Guebo Pelao gracias a este post Once Again thanks:

"We have found a workaround that allows us to keep those extensions enabled. If you replace the problematic jvm.dll under C:\Program Files\Oracle\JInitiator \bin\hotspot, with the one from your actual Java install (ours is located under C:\Program Files\Java\j2re1.4.2_04\bin\client), then it seems to work again."

This worked for us on both IE6 and IE7 machines."

As posted by CK on July 31, 2008 (above)"

Sep. 16, 2009, 11:33 AM by Joel V.

"Copying jvm.dll from the sun java to oracle worked. Tks."

Sep. 21, 2009, 7:18 AM by Luis S.

"This worked for me too. Thank You!!!"

Dec. 27, 2009, 10:05 AM by Nick

"Same problem here, but w/ IE8. Problem was solved by uninstalling JInitiator and then visiting the Java-based website and allowing it to re-install JInitiator."

Jan. 12, 2010, 9:10 AM by M

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