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Java Support

If you have more than one version of Java or an outdated version of Java installed on your computer, you may encounter errors with the Blackboard system such as missing icons, inability to upload documents, problems with chat or discussion forums.

UAB Java Recommendations

A critical security vulnerability was recently identified in the Java software used by many browsers for accessing Internet and internal web sites. In response the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommended that all web users disable or remove Java to mitigate the risks. However, as many UAB systems require Java (including Blackboard), UAB IT is providing guidance to the UAB Campus that will both protect the university and will provide the ability to continue accessing the required UAB systems. Part of that guidance includes using separate browsers for accessing UAB vs. non-UAB websites, and using certain browser versions and Java versions.

Windows Systems:

• On Windows 7 Install IE 9 and Java 1.7.0_45

• On Windows XP install IE 8 and Java 1.7.0_45

UAB IT has updated the minimum recommendations for versions of Internet Explorer and Java as UAB systems have improved functionality to support newer browsers and the currently secure version of Java. Internet Explorer 9 and Java 1.7.0_45 are recommended for installation on Windows 7 and IE 8 with Java 1.7.0_45 on existing XP systems. UAB IT also recommends using a separate browser with JAVA disabled for Internet use. Use IE for on campus with Java enabled and your choice of Firefox or Chrome for Internet browsing with JAVA disabled (for information on disabling Java click here).

Mac Systems:

• Install OSX 10.8 and Java 1.7.0_45

UAB IT has updated the minimum recommendations for versions of Mac Operating systems and Java as UAB systems have improved functionality that are compatible with the current version of Java. The recommended operating systems for use on Campus are Apple OSX 10.7x and 10.8x. While Apple OSX 10.6x is still supported by Apple, vendors are no longer testing against it for compatibility. Apple operating systems will not run any version lower than Java 1.7.0_21.

UAB IT also recommends using two different browsers — one for surfing the Web and one just for accessing UAB systems. For Internet Web browsing, use one of the following: Firefox Safari, or Chrome, with Java disabled (for information on disabling Java click here).

For more information, contact AskIT (www.uab.edu/askit or 205-996-5555).

Troubleshooting Java

Sometimes students continue to encounter problems despite having the latest version of Java installed on their systems. There are three main causes for this:

  1. Having multiple versions of Java installed on your system
  2. Interference from your Java’s security settings
  3. The Java cache needs to be cleared

Multiple Java Versions Installed

Follow the uninstall instructions from the table below to remove older versions of Java on your system. Once all versions of Java have been removed, restart your computer and install Java 7 from Java.com.

  PC MAC
Verifying Java Instructions Instructions
Installing Java Instructions Instructions
Uninstalling Java Instructions Instructions
Updating Java Instructions Instructions


Updating Java on Macintosh Systems

Apple supplies their own version of Java for all operating systems prior to OS X 10.7 Lion. For Macintosh operating systems prior to Lion, use the Software Update feature (available through the Apple menu) to check for Java updates. If you have problems with Java on your Macintosh system, please contact Apple Technical Support for further assistance.

Mac users with OS X Lion (10.7) and newer, Java runtime is no longer installed by default. Java for Mac can be downloaded directly from the Java website.

Java Security Settings

When some PC users login to Blackboard, they may encounter a pop-up that says “Java has discovered application components that could indicate a security concern”.

Java added a patch in Version 6 Update 19 that added protection from applets that contain both signed and unsigned components, which often results in this security warning. To avoid having to deal with this pop-up repeatedly, users can change a setting in the Java Control Panel to run the applets with protections.

Windows Users:

  1. Go to the Start menu and select Control Panel from the list.
  2. Inside the Control Panel dialog box, find the icon that says Java.
    Note: You may have to be in Classic View to see the list of icons.
  3. Inside the Java Control Panel, click the Advanced tab and expand Security to access the Mixed Code options.
  4. Select the option that says “Enable – hide warning and run with protections”.

Mac Users:

  1. Go to the Applications folder on your system and locate the folder that says Utilities.
  2. Double-click the icon that says Java Preferences.
  3. Inside of the Java Preferences dialog, under the Advanced tab, find the section that says Verify mixed security code (sandboxed vs. trusted).
  4. Select the option that says “Enable – run with protections, no warnings”.
Important Note: This is a global setting and will run mixed code from any website without displaying the message on both Windows and Macintosh systems.


Clearing the Java Cache File

Java problems that occur after you have verified you only have one version of Java that is up-to-date on your system can usually be fixed by clearing out your Java cache.

Windows Users:

  1. Go to the Start menu and select Control Panel from the list.
  2. Inside the Control Panel dialog box, find the icon that says Java.
    Note: You may have to be in Classic View to see the list of icons.
  3. Inside the Java Control Panel, under the General tab you will see a section that says Temporary Internet Files. Click the button that says Settings.
  4. In the Temporary Files Settings window, click the Delete Files button. A new window will open.
  5. In the Delete Temporary Files window, ensure sure both check boxes are selected and click OK.

Mac Users:

  1. Go to the Applications folder on your system and locate the folder that says Utilities.
  2. Double-click the icon that says Java Preferences.
  3. Inside of the Java Preferences dialog, under the Network tab click the button that says Delete Files.
  4. Ensure sure both check boxes are selected and click OK.
Important Note: You may also want to verify Java is active on your system by going to the General tab and confirm that the check boxes under the section labeled On are marked. Java Console ON

 

Modified with permission from University of Arkansas at Little Rock