I've looked in the control panel. No Java icon.
I've tried using the Microsoft Windows Installer Cleanup Utility. Java does not show up as one of the 'problems' to be fixed.
I've checked the settings in both of the browsers I use (MSIE 8, and Firefox 3.5.3) and all of the appropriate check boxes are in fact checked. So now I don't know what to try in order to get Java rolling again. Any ideas and/or suggestions would be helpful. I tried the links in the second post, and followed the steps, but none of them solved my problem. Any other ideas?
I received a response under a different post suggesting I run a program called JavaRa. I did so, and followed the instructions given to download and install Java. I got the same error message. So then I opened JavaRa and tried to 'remove' all old Java files. It appeared to complete successfully. So I rebooted, and then tried to reinstall Java. Same error message! So now I'm stuck again.