After getting some MS security patches on my XP box at work a while ago (april 2009) , I encountered problems while starting Oracle JDeveloper. The message I got was: Unable to create an instance of the Java Virtual Machine
A workaround is limiting the maximum heap size of your application to e.g. 512M instead of 1024M. Eventually you’ll run in to trouble while developing larger applications. This also applies to other Java applications such as Tomcat.
After doing some research, I’ve managed to pinpoint the responsible security patch.
KB972260 – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972260
There is no real fix for this issue. The only one is uninstalling this security fix, and hide it inside Windows Update to prevent that you are getting bothered over and over again. Both Microsoft and Sun have been informed by users, but have not taken any actions.
In addition to the above:
MS has recently released a new IE7 patch. Too bad this patch also breaks Java related stuff. Patch: KB974455
And another one: