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Likely the registry is somehow messed up to the point where the installer can't function (that is only too easy to cause I'm sorry to say). You may want to try JavaRA which is built to help you clean up old Java installations.
You may want to try running a registry cleaner tool, I'm a fan of ccleaner myself. If all that fails well... good luck.
It happened on another one...
I must be doing something to block the reading of the registry. The Java installer is invoked in an install script right after I read the existing Java environment registry entries. Would this lock something causing the Java installer to fail? I've been running this same install script with the Java 1.6 installers for years without issue.
Guessing won't get you anywhere. I drew some conclusions by doing a google search on the exact error message in the subject (Error 25026 - Error reading the Windows registry). Do the same google search and see what you can come up with. People have been getting it for quite some time now, its not a recent thing.