Java – Failed to download required installation files

Oracle, you’ve outdone yourself! Still not getting this consumer level software thing are you? I got a call at work that my daughter’s laptop was acting funny. Turns out she got hit by a virus. I have her user account set up to run with limited permissions so there wasn’t any real damage and was fairly easy to clean up.

I spent some time trying to figure out how she got infected in the first place since she doesn’t usually venture too far from her game sites, doesn’t have email or facebook, and is pretty closely monitored by us. Her internet history didn’t show anything I didn’t expect, the typical game sites, Google searches for Justin Bieber, etc…

Nothing was out of the ordinary however, some of her game sites make heavy use of Java. Maybe a rogue ad took advantage of the recent Java exploit or something. No, she has Java 6 installed so it wasn’t that particular exploit. I’m not entirely sure it was a Java vulnerability, just covering bases here. Maybe something else?

I figure I’d make sure it was updated anyway and started the Java control panel. Went to the Update tab and clicked Update Now. A new version was available so I clicked Install. The prompt for my administrator password came up (of course, she’s running a limited user account). I enter it and the following error pops up:

Failed to download required installation files.

Hmmm… ok. Not sure why. I check the network settings and tell it to use a direct connection instead of my default browser settings. Same issue. Maybe it’s a permission issue. So I navigate in Explorer to the Java directory, find the javacpl.exe file, right-click and select Run as administrator... Enter my password and try again. Same issue.

I switch user and log into my administrator account. Open the Java control panel and try again. Voila! It works! Looking around the internet, this bug has been around for quite a while and still isn’t fixed. It seems the Java updater won’t work at all unless you are logged into the administrator account. Being a general user and running it as administrator is NOT sufficient. Grrrr…

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