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You've found a Java programming forum (so for Java programmers), this is not the place to discuss problems with your Windows installation. But now that you're here: there were a few installation issues with the recent updates that should be resolved in the upcoming update 12, perhaps you're also a "victim". You can only wait and see, or if you're adventurous you can try installing the update 12 preview.
At least you found a work around, thanks for sharing it!
Thanks for that input. I have seen a number of comments as I've searched the 'net, about issues noted with Update 10 (especially in relation to Firefox) but perhaps this is yet another one. (I do have Firefox installed, and use it as my primary browser).
Supporting your theory... I just updated another laptop to Update 10 - and "Java" disappeared from its Control Panel too!!
I couldn't find an obvious place to post my question (I spent a while hunting around), and I wasn't sure this forum would be inappropriate, so I tried posting here. I apologize if this wasn't the right place, but thank you for your response.
BTW... I finally found another direct way to run the Java Control Panel. The program on my machine is called "jpicpl.exe", and it's located in Program Files/Java/jre7/bin... which is apparently not in the path normally searched by the Run command.