|Since you say several programs it might be time for a clean install if you feel confident doing that.|
If not then maybe try to delete that file. Go to the Sun's Java web page and try to get latest. May have to try to uninstall it via control panel first. Might have to do that in safe mode too.
Other options may be a restore point if you know this all happened on some date.
"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10