Because I didn't have the 64bit JRE it threw the error, which makes sense.
I went to the Java manual install page (which was not as directly accessible as you'd like) and installed the 64bit version. Didn't work for me, gave me Error: opening registry key ' Software\Javasoft\Java Runtime Environment'.
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The easiest way to install such a JVM is to go to let it install whatever it want to install. See but you were using Windows 7 x86 where I was using x64 --- as others have stated this problem may have been a glych on SUN's part in their programing of how their web page 'detects the version' (i.e. The easy way, for me to fix it was to install both the JRE and the eclipse as x86 or x64.
When their bit type did not match, eclipse could not find it.
This is because the eclipse hard code the JDK path in when it is setup for the first time. I downloaded Eclipse 64bit which looks for a 64bit JRE.
Because I didn't have the 64bit JRE it threw the error, which makes sense. This question/answer is slightly old but I was running into this issue so I'll post my notes.
A java Runtime Environment (JRE) or Java Development kit (JDK) must be available in order to run Eclipse.
No Java virtual machine was found after searching the following locations: C:\eclipse\jre\in your current PATH @Thorbjørn: and what is the point?
even if your has JAVA_HOME and Path configured valid,their may has this problem,so the most simple way to do is open your in your eclipse installtion folder I vote for this answer to be the correct one.
Do not rely on the windows path variable because it gets changed in nearly every update. a chrome (32bit on a 64 bit machine) java update replaces the systemwide 64 bit JVM by a 32 bit JVM.
To get it to work, I had to use internet explorer (64-bit version) to download java.
This was the only way to get java to install a 64-bit version.
I had to copy the whole jre7 (in my case) folder into the Eclipse directory, and rename it jre. If you download the 64 bit version of Eclipse; it will look for the 64 bit version of JRE. If you're modifying your environmental variable PATH, make sure you put the path of the correct version.