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Could not initialize the Java Virtual Machine

I am trying to install Oracle Client 9.2.0.1 on Windows XP Professional on a DELL Optiplex GX620. It is a P4 machine. It gives me the error "Could not initialize the Java Virtual Machine. Program will exit."

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There have been known problems with the Pentium 4 and Xeon processors, and the Oracle Universal Installer (OUI). While these problems were mostly specific to Oracle8i, there have been a few issues with the 9i OUI, as well. You could try editing the registry entries HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Environment\TEMP and/or HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Environment\TMP to point to C:\temp or some other writable directory path with no special characters.

If the directory specified by HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Environment\TEMP contains a hash symbol, #, then when the JVM tries to parse the dynamically built CLASSPATH it will fail and be unable to load its core classes. The default directory specified by HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Environment\TEMP is %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temp.

Note that you must be very careful editing registry entries as this may cause other applications to stop working.

This was first published in February 2006

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