I wanted to share my encounters with Java 7 update 17, aka version 1.17. It may have been a previous version, but the 17 update looks to silently remove any JRE6 folder paths from your machine. Run some web-based queries or sites and you’ll find the details of what’s missing hiding in the broken functionality.
Sharing for anyone who sees previously working java applications die out. Square one is to check for what Java version is installed and when it was so. I updated to 7v17 on Friday, so I had a few hours of tracing out my mistake.
Remove latest version and reinstall a compliant 6.xx build and you are back in business. I would still Disable Java in the Web browser when and wherever possible. You can do this via Control Panel | Java | Security Tab, on your windows based machines.