I've been having the same problem. I've found that the original release of JRE 1.6.0 works. It's still slow to start up, but applications still run. With any of the subsequent releases, I can't even access the control panel applet. This must be a rare problem, because I can't seem to find any solutions beyond uninstalling, using a cleanup program, then reinstalling, yet the problem persists. BTW, I'm running 32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium.