Mac OS X Java Update Causing Problems with Java Web Start?

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The most recent Java auto-update through OS X (Leopard) is causing some problems with Java Web Start, the program used to launch the MDO Transporter program. If you’ve gone through the update and your Java Web Start is no longer available it means that the update wasn’t completely successful.

A symptom of this is trying to launch a Java Web Start Application (Transporter for My Docs users) and having it open something that looks like a text file.

Fortunately there is a fairly simple solution to the problem. You can manually re-install the Java Update from this Apple location.
Let us know through the comments here if this doesn’t work for you.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Christy July 28, 2009 at 1:09 am

THANK YOU!!!! You have solved my problem and probably saved my thesis! This worked perfectly.

Steve July 28, 2009 at 1:18 am

That’s great! Thanks for leaving the comment and letting us know. Good luck with the thesis.

Heather September 26, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Hi! We had this problem, did some updates on our mac 3 weeks ago and now java doesn’t work. I tried the update that you provided and get this box:
Install Failed
The installer could not install some files in “/”.
Contact the manufacturer for assistance.
When I check for software updates it tells me that I need to install Java update 5 version 1 and then…wait, I have to close my browser for the install, I’ll come back and tell you what the warning says.

Heather September 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm

okay, I’m back, the warning says “the update can’t be installed, the source media is damaged. Try installing from a different copy of the source media.”

do I need to reinstall mac os x leopard?


Steve September 28, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Heather – are you running leopard or snow leopard? The Apple update was specifically was Leopard. I certainly wouldn’t think you’d need to re-install leopard to get the Java Update to work. I wonder if the download was completed successfully before the install took place. The fact that it was looking for files is a bit odd.

Heather September 29, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Hi Steve,
I’m running leopard. I’ve done some searching online and heard of some other people that ran into the same problem and they all had to eventually rerun an install of the entire leopard. I just wanted a second opinion, before I go to such lengths.

Anne November 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Hi Steve,

I recently updated my new Mac to Snow Leopard. Since doing that, my printer does not have printer options anymore and I can’t use the ‘Family Search Indexing’ program, a genealogy public indexing program, at all. I get a message that the ‘application has requested a version of the JRE(version 1.5) that is currently not locally installed’.
JavaForMacOSX10.5 update 4.dmg will not load to Snow leopard.
Is there a way that a reformed pc user could fix this on her own?

Thank you,


Steve November 9, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Hi Anne,

Wow – this sounds kind of frustrating. When I upgraded to Snow Leopard I started having some really strange printer problems that would come and go. Finally, after about a month they came and stayed so I had to figure it out. It turns out that the HP printer driver I was running was not supported by Snow Leopard and I couldn’t find the new drivers on the HP Site. However, all was not lost – I was able to find a link to the correct drivers on the Apple site and was able to download and install them. So after a frustrating couple of hours my printer was working again.

Is it possible that updating your printer driver will solve your printer problems? Check here to see if there are updated drivers to your printer

Ok, now on to the Java problem. I downloaded update 4 for Java and your right, it didn’t work. There is an update 5 for Java that can be found here. I tried installing it and was unable to install it because it said I had a newer version on my machine. That newer version must have installed with Snow Leopard. I don’t know if it will work on your system. If you do try it please let me know what happens.

Good Luck!


Anne November 9, 2009 at 5:45 pm


The printer driver for my Epson printer is available with Gutenprint. That seems to be the problem. Evidently, that is a universal driver without all the available controls.

I’m currently downloading the JavaForMac update 5 that you linked for me. I’ll let you know how that goes.

I would uninstall the Snow Leopard update if I could figure out how. I am more familiar with the workings of my former, may I say it, pc.

The ease of the search program is something I do miss.



Anne November 9, 2009 at 6:00 pm


I got a message saying that I have a newer version of the Update 5 already installed.

Thanks for your help. I’m sure that Apple with come up with a fix soon.


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