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Java problems

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I am having problems with my JVM and I have no idea what to do. Here's the deal:

I noticed problems with Java (i.e. applets not running) a couple weeks ago. I don't know what caused this for sure, but I had let my roommate use my computer and right after that I had that search assistant bug, the one where a search page comes up on the about:blank IE page. I believe I got rid of this, and everything else seems fine except for Java.

I removed and then reinstalled Java 5.0 but applets still do not work. I tested the JVM on the Java website and it doesn't work. So I guess "Java™ may not be properly installed on your system".

Now, I have tried reinstalling several times, this doesn't help. In the IE settings, under "Java (Sun)" I have "Use JRE 1.5.0_02 for <applet>" checked, and under "Microsoft VM" I have "Java console enabled" and "Java logging enabled" both checked. I have tried checking and unchecking the "JIT compiler for virtual machine enabled" box, it works neither way. Under Security settings I have Java permissions at low safety and Java Scripting enabled.

Java settings seem fine, but when I looked at the Java console today there was this message (which seems like an error message but I don't know):

AWT blocker activation interrupted:
at java.lang.Object.wait(Native Method)
at java.lang.Object.wait(Unknown Source)
at sun.awt.AWTAutoShutdown.activateBlockerThread(Unknown Source)
at sun.awt.AWTAutoShutdown.notifyThreadBusy(Unknown Source)
at java.awt.EventQueue.initDispatchThread(Unknown Source)
at java.awt.EventDispatchThread.run(Unknown Source)

Can anyone tell me what I can do to get this all working again?

Thanks in advance.
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