Thursday, September 13, 2012

Disabling Check For Updates in Java Control Panel...For Real!

So I ran into this problem…
No matter how many times I changed the update settings for the Java Control Panel on my Windows 7 machines, it always came back. It never occurred to me that UAC was preventing the change, but it was.
Here’s how I fixed the issue:
1.       First I dug into task manager to find the process responsible for the Java Control Panel. Our cuprit is javaw.exe *32. For task manager newbies, I selected the application, Java Control Panel, and did a right-click > Go To Process to discover the process.
2.       Then I did a search for javaw.exe. My copy of the above offender was located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin. I selected javaw.exe and choose to “Run As Administrator”. This does not launch the control panel but it will place the icon in your system tray notification area.
3.       Upon further testing, C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin\javacpl.exe was discovered to launch the Java Control Panel. So I selected javacpl.exe and choose Right-click > Run As Administrator.
4.       From there I just modified the Update tab and unchecked “Check for Updates Automatically”.
5.       Upon reboot, everything was good to go.
Here’s the interesting part of this whole deal…
Unchecking updates appears to be the only (though I did not check every setting in control panel) that requires elevated privileges but does NOT prompt UAC. When I testing different options under the Advanced tab, I found one setting for enabling the Next Generation Java browser plug-in that initiated a UAC prompt for ssvagent.exe. IMHO, that means Oracle built the Java Control Panel by design to prevent the average user from turning off their updates, and that probably surprises nobody!
Maybe I should consider a life without Java…but only the computer kind! 
Till Next Time…Mike
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