Whenever I try to run the Minecraft.exe file it doesn't work. Instead, I get a window titled "Java Virtual Machine Launcher" that says:
Error: Could not create the Java Virtual Machine.
Error: A fatal exception has occurred. Program will exit.
The weird thing is I can run Minecraft inside my browser, just not with Minecraft.exe. I'm running on 32-bit XP, but I have 3.25 GB of RAM, so I don't think this is a RAM issue. I've tried running with a batch file set to use less RAM, but it didn't work.
I've also uninstalled and reinstalled Java a few times. I've tried JRE 6, JRE 7, and even JDK 7. All of them returned the same error, with the exception that the second line only shows up in JRE 7 and JDK 7. A have a few other programs that use Java, and they've been working fine through all of this, so apparently this is a problem specific to Minecraft.
I've completely run out of ideas on how to fix this, so any help whatsoever would be appreciated.
For what it's worth, I ended up doing a complete format on my PC (I had Windows Vista, and a friend of mine got me an "almost legal" copy of Windows 7 (I hadn't done a complete re-image in the 4+ years I've had this laptop).
Seemed to fix it. I had been hitting my head against the wall for days w/ same issue (uninstalling-reinstalling Java, making sure previous versions were uninstalled, downloaded & ran CC Cleaner, ran a full AVG antivirus scan, Malwarebytes/Spybot S&D scans). NOTHING fixed it. Even doing odd things like making a custom .bat file, modifying minecraft.exe parameters didn't fix. Java itself was completely ganked up no matter what I did.
Hopefully someone can find a less extreme solution!\\
P.S., if anyone has an elderly Vista machine, give Windows 7 a whirl. My PC was NEVER this fast with Vista.