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If you previously had Java 6, you may need to check your proxy settings in the Java Control Panel, that is if you use a proxy.
Try other applets to see if you see similar errors.
One of my favorites for 'testing' is http://www.brainjar.com/java/games/asteroids/
If you are still seeing issues, it could be a couple issues:
A number of trouble shooting tips can be found on java.com: https://www.java.com/en/download/help/troubleshoot_java.xml
I was coming from what I believe was Java 7 u9 from October. I don't use a proxy at all.
Asteroids doesn't work, same ClassNotFoundException error :(.
I looked through all of those tips and tried them with no luck at all. I just want Java to work on my laptop, this is very frustrating. I've never had any problems with Java at all.
You did clear the Java Control Panel cache? Just to clarify over the browser cache.
The console is often a good way of determining what sort of error may be taking place:
You may want to look at the C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\LocalLow directory and see if you have a Sun and/or Oracle that remain after removing all versions of Java. If these are removed after Java is removed, installing Java will recreate these files.
Happy to hear that you found a solution.
One reason I asked which version you had previously was to know if you had just moved from 6 to 7. Given that you believe that the previous release was 7u9(?) it is surprising for this to show up now as it should have been seen with any 7ux release.
Since JRE 7, java uses IPv4 mapped IPv6 addresses on windows OS which have the new IPv6 windows stack. (vista and later if I recall correctly)
Some products (firewalls, routers, OSs) may not support IPv6 correctly when this format is encountered. Older versions of the Cisco VPN is one such product. The windows firewall itself has had difficulty, until a recent update, allowing IPv4 traffic on an IPv6 style socket. See following link for information from Microsoft http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2754804
Setting -Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=true property is a work around this issue.
Java 7 Networking API doc: http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/api/java/net/doc-files/net-properties.html
I really appreciate your help Roger, you are a great help on here.
The last time I had updated was 10/2012 and the reason was it wasn't notifying me about updates anymore which makes me believe that there was an issue that I wasn't seeing. I haven't really gone any sites that require Java in awhile so that might be why.
I've been having issues with my cable modem the past couple of weeks, it's almost 10 years old and doesn't support Docsis 3.0 or IPv6. Could this be part of the problem? Also IPv6 is not enabled on my Netgear router, maybe there's more to it then I thought.
I'm glad that it's a work around for now until I can figure out what's causing it, please let me know if you have anymore info on this issue and if it could be my modem.