>1. Yes, I only have 1 user, which is the admin.
Maybe it is unclear what is going on. Let's back up a few steps:
1. Are you a member of the Windows' Administrators group on this machine?
2. Did you install the 64bit or 32bit JRE or both?
3. Did you perform the installation? In other words, were you logged in as you when the installation was performed?
4. Do you have any other major JRE version installed? For example 1.6.0_xx
5. Have you tried any other version?
6. When you performed the 7U17 installation, did you have a previous version installed which was upgraded or was this a clean install?
My recommendation is the following:
1. Uninstall ALL installed version of Java SE
2. Reboot (not really necessary, but you never know ;) )
3. Install 1.7.0_17 32bit
If this works and you need the 64bit too, then you can install it. Both versions can co-exist.