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This is an odd issue. Could you post the installation log?
1) Move the installer to c:\ directory
2) Open command prompt: Start -> Run -> Type "command"
3) At the command prompt: go to c:\ directory
4) Run the installation again with logging turned on:
jre-1_5_0_07-windows-i586-p.exe /v"/L c:\install.log"
Note: Log will be helpful in identifying the problem area
Dont feel alone. I got the very same thing today. Our software is down until we can fix this. If you look at the bottom left of the window you see "InstallShield" - probably as much the culprit as Java. This is a potentially "hot-potato" issue - Java will blame InstallShield, and refer you to them. InstallShield will blame Sun Microsystems, and refer you to them. The InstallShield website has a list of things you can try, and a place where you can upload a screen shot of the error. If enough people do that, then they will be more inclinded to directly address the error, without passing the potato back to Sun Microsystems.
I'm also interested if there is a way to install Java manually. If I have a JDK on another PC, can I take the program files/java folder and copy it to the server where Java won't install, and make modifications to the registry so that it will function as if installed?
I fixed the problem on a Win2003 Enterprise Server by going into the following folder:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield
and deleting everything in both the Driver and Engine folders (make a backup of the entire InstallShield folder first). Also see this link (first I tried some things on the link, and I don't know if they impacted the solution):
Deleting InstallShield folder didn't help. Updates from installshield in the previous post didn't help either. However, I managed to successfully install Java 6 Update 20 by moving the installer to root of C:\ and launching the installer from Command Prompt with logging enabled, like this:
jdk-6u20-windows-i586.exe /lv java.log