Make Java-based Apps Play Nice with Vista

Make Java-based Apps Play Nice with Vista

If you’ve tried to run certain Java-based applications on Vista with the Aero user interface eye candy enabled, you might have received the following error message: “The color scheme has been changed to Windows Vista Basic”. This is because older versions of Java don’t play well with Vista’s Aero Glass user interface.
If you’d like to eliminate this annoyance, you have a couple of choices, but the first thing you need to do is install the latest and greatest version of the JRE (Java Runtime Environment) from Then:

  1. If the software you’re using has a “Java not included” option, install that instead. You might have to follow some extra instructions to set it up (such as setting a JAVA_HOME environment variable), but when you’re done, everything should work fine.
  2. Dig into the software you’ve installed, and look for a java or jre subfolder. You’ll need to find your JRE installation (check C:Program FilesJavajre1.6.0). Copy everything from there into the misbehaving software’s (Processing in the following example) jre folder. Here’s how it’s done at the command prompt, but you could rename java to java.old and copy the new JRE in using Windows Explorer as well:
    C:>cd processing-0123
    C:processing-0123>ren java java.old
    C:processing-0123>xcopy /s "Program FilesJavajre1.6.0" java
    Does java specify a file name
    or directory name on the target
    (F = file, D = directory)? D
    Program FilesJavajre1.6.0COPYRIGHT
    Program FilesJavajre1.6.0LICENSE
    Program FilesJavajre1.6.0README.txt

However you decide to do it, the next time you run the troublesome app, it should now appear in all its Aero-enabled glory!

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