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I am not sure how it happened, but when running the Control Panel to Install/Uninstall/Change application software on my Windows 7 (Home edition) system, I find several versions of Java installed. I have just removed all the Java 6 versions, I am pretty sure I can do without those: but I still have left the following Java 7 versions:

  • Java(TM) 7 (64 bit)
  • Java(TM) SE Development Kit
  • Java 7 Update 9
  • Java(TM) SE Development Kit (64-bit)

I should point out that this is a 64bit machine. So are these redundant? They look like it, but I have not found clear statements of what the differences are on Oracle's site. Nor (as I type this) is the "Similar Questions" window providing any promising hits in SO.

BTW: the first one that shows up in the command path is C:\windows\system32\java.exe, which looks like the location where Microsoft puts their own version! I thought the install programs were supposed to clean up environment variables as they installed and uninstalled, but tht has not been happening here: I still see C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.6.0_16\bin in the path, too. Even after uninstalling all Java6 applications.

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Which version are the SDKs? –  MrSmith42 Jan 3 '13 at 2:41
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 3 '13 at 2:45

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2 Answers

Among the 4, the "Java(TM) SE Development Kit"s are only needed if you are compiling or developing Java code. If not they are unnecessary.

"Java 7 Update 9" I am not too sure, it could be an incremental update over "Java(TM) 7 (64 bit)" in which case it would be needed, or if it is the entire runtime, then you could get away with keeping just the update version. I would check the size of the two and see if they are comparable.

As to the Java 6, it is remotely possible that some software you have needs the older version and is incompatible with the new, although I expect that is rare.

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Both versions are SDKs –  MrSmith42 Jan 3 '13 at 2:25
    
There are no incremental updates as far as I know. –  MrSmith42 Jan 3 '13 at 2:26
    
@MrSmith42 so we are talking about 2 versions and not 4? –  Karthik T Jan 3 '13 at 2:27
    
I think you are right there seam to be more than 2 versions. The list in the question confused me a little. But sure is there are redundant versions. –  MrSmith42 Jan 3 '13 at 2:32
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"C:\windows\system32\java.exe, which looks like the location where Microsoft puts their own version!"

Microsoft doesn't provide a java engine anymore.1 A previous stackoverflow question clarifies why there is a java.exe in the system32 folder.2

I'm guessing that the Java 7 is the original build, while update 9 is the more recent version. That's just a guess. The SEs appear to be redundant, but you should probably look more carefully at the versions

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