MoneyDance 2010 fails to start with JVM could not be started error

Ming's Avatar


08 Dec, 2009 04:28 AM


I was running 2008r4 640 prior to today. I saw the 2010 version was released and proceeded to download that version. I initially downloaded the version without java. After installing, I started getting the "The JVM could not be started. The main method may have thrown an exception." message and after hitting ok, MD closes. I then uninstalled MD and reinstalled Java via the moneydance (including java) and also by manually downloading and installing the latest java 6 update 17 but without any success. I'm running XP and have not had any problems running MD 2008 to date. I have not tried to go back to MD 2008 yet.

I'm hoping that we can resolve this without reverting back. I think have exhausted everything at this stage as i have rebooted, uninstalled and reinstalled about half a dozen times now. Need some help to troubleshoot what's causing this error.



  1. 1 Posted by ming on 09 Dec, 2009 04:43 AM

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    I've tried again tonight reinstalling, uninstalling both java and MD2010 to no avail.

    One interesting thing that I noticed but am not sure that I can correlate this behavior as a cause to this problem is that when test the JVM at this URL:

    Firefox and chrome work fine. However, when I use my IE6 no matter what i've tried to do, I can't get it to work in IE.

    At this time, i've reverted back to MD2008 build 640 and things seem to be working fine. It also confirms under About that i'm using Java 6.17. It is interesting that when i start MD2008, the java console doesn't pop up although i've configured it to pop up with logging and tracing. When I use the JVM test at the site, the console pops up when I use chrome and firefox (not IE because IE doesn't seem to work.) This is why I'm suspecting that maybe the symptoms i'm seeing in IE6 have the same root cause as MD2010 not working.

    That's all the troubleshooting I've been able to do so far until I get further instructions from MD support.

  2. 2 Posted by Brian Adler on 09 Dec, 2009 08:42 PM

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    Have you yet tried installing MD 2010 with Java? I believe that will solve your difficulty. Here is the link:


  3. 3 Posted by ming on 09 Dec, 2009 09:06 PM

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    Yes, I tried that version with the java included as well and it gave me the same error. Seems like someone else has opened another discussion thread after me with the same issue.

    Can you advise what else to try?


  4. 4 Posted by Don Gregory on 10 Dec, 2009 04:36 AM

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    I had the same problem. (Windows XP SP3, current Java). Before installing MD, I had created a system restore point. So, when MD threw an exception, I triggered the restore.

    For the first time in using XP, the restore did not work (although it thought it did). I started MD -- and the new version came up successfully, with no apparent errors! I should have gotten the previous version.

    The questions is, what if anything got backed out, and why did supposedly returning to the previous version cause the new version to not only work, but exist when it should have been blown away!

    Inquiring minds want/need to know ...

  5. 5 Posted by Ben Spencer on 10 Dec, 2009 10:44 AM

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    I am afraid you question about the function of system restore on win XP might be better suited for the Microsoft froums. Although my understanding on how Win XPs system restore function works is that it takes a snapshot of system settings rather than an entire image of your harddrive. And that returning to a system restore point does not remove applications that were installed after the restore point was created.

    I am sorry that the update did not go as smoothly as you would have liked.


    Ben Spencer

  6. 6 Posted by ming on 10 Dec, 2009 05:18 PM

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    Brian, Ben,

    I never used the XP restore method that Don alluded to. I plain old backed up the .md file before the upgrade. did install, uninstall, install, uninstall many times with MD2010 and also the Java 6.17 update. none of it resulted in anything other than the JVM could not be started error.

    Just from the forums here, there are at least 4 people including me who are encountering this problem, (Me, santella1, Don Gregory, Adam H). Can we get some direction on what next steps we can take to get to the root cause?


  7. 7 Posted by Ben Spencer on 10 Dec, 2009 07:20 PM

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    Please attach a copy of your error.log file.

    To locate it browse to C:\Documents and Settings\yourUserName.moneydance

    I suspect that somewhere along the way you are using an incompatible version of Java. The most likely fix would be to make a backup of your data file. Completely uninstall Moneydance (including the .moneydance folder in your user directory) and also uninstall all versions of java you have on your machine. The download and install the version of moneydance for windows that comes with java.


    Ben Spencer

  8. 8 Posted by ming on 10 Dec, 2009 09:47 PM

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    I'll try to locate that file tonight and get it to you but can you clarify if the name of the file is "username.moneydance" or it's "error.log" under a directory called username.moneydance"?

    I do agree with you that there's probably some ghost version of Java running somewhere that's causing this. What I have done so far is completely uninstalled moneydance as well as java at least 2 times (via the control panel add/remove programs) option. But, I also think there's some ghost version of java out there. Under control panel, I have the 1.6.17 java console but i also have a Java console which is not fully working. I've tried numerous ways of removing the old version manually because there's no uninstall package available but it's clearly not removed everything.

    I'll continue to see if i can get it to work and find the file for you.

  9. 9 Posted by ming on 11 Dec, 2009 02:55 AM

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    I see another couple of people who have also posted with the same problem now.

    I've done the following tonight.

    -uninstalled MD 2008 -i suspected that there was a bad version of java 1.3.1_12 still running so i reinstalled 1.3.1_12 and then uninstalled it cleanly and successfully. which was good. -i installed MD 2010 version with java.
    -when i ran it, it said java could not be found. i went into control panel and lo and behold, it wasn't installed. i also used the browsers to confirm (via site) that it's not installed. -i manually installed java 6.17 and it installed successfully. I used the chrome, IE and firefox and all confirmed that java is working successfully. before today, i wasn't able to get IE to confirm that java was there. since i've cleaned up the ghost 1.3.1_12 version, it's working now. -when i start MD2010, i'm back to where i started which is the error "JVM could not be started". -i then went to find the error.txt file and it turns out that when this error happens, nothing is written. the reason i know this is that the file is more than 24 hours old. it's from last night when i was still using the 2008 version and the file says: Moneydance version not recent enough... manual upgrade

    What's next? I think whatever is making the installwj version not install java automatically is also making it not work.

  10. 10 Posted by ming on 11 Dec, 2009 03:10 AM

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    I tried to go into the program files\moneydance directory and run the exe directly. same error.

    -then, i ran the moneydance.jar file directly and it loaded and says there's a new version out there and i hit the upgrade button. i think it downloaded something and then upgraded and said it was done and i closed. -then, i tried to run the exe again and still gave me the same error. -i went back to run the moneydance.jar file and at least i was able to get it to create a error.txt file. i've attached it

    i don't know if it helps but at least i was able to get it to do something

    hope this helps

  11. 11 Posted by dhb1ibo on 11 Dec, 2009 04:25 AM

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    When I try to open MD2010 I get an error saying JVM could not be started. Running Windows 7. I suspect this is Java virtual machine so I uninstalled & downloaded the window version with Java & installed but got same error.

    It doesn't make sense to me that there would be a problem with Java that wouldn't affect MD2008 as all I've done is updated to a new version. I have tried uninstalling 08 & installing each version of 10 separately getting the same results. I have also reinstalled 2008 & it still works fine. I will look at providing an error log tomorrow as it is getting late now.

  12. 12 Posted by BRF on 11 Dec, 2009 05:46 AM

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    I have the same problem, it appears that you may be requesting too much memory. Here is the line from my error.log fie:

    ignoring invalid argument: -Xmx1024m

    Now why it would not like 1024m is unknown to me, considering I have 3Meg of memory, with over 2 megs of physical memory available. I am a java developer with access to exe4j and created a new exe for myself requesting only 876M and it started up fine. I am using java 1.6.0_16 currently.

  13. 13 Posted by tcvisser1 on 11 Dec, 2009 07:51 AM

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    Unfortunately I have the same JVM error (could not start). Initially downloaded 2010 Build 723 without Java and installed into existing directory... JVM error.
    Downloaded Java version, installed in new directory, copied data file to new directory....same JVM error. Error file (attached) reports Java 1.6.0_16. No other applications have Java errors. Running on Dell Dimension 8300 with WinXP SP3

  14. 14 Posted by Ben Spencer on 11 Dec, 2009 11:43 AM

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    Thanks for the error log. I have passed it along to the developers and I'll get back to you as soon as I have news to report.


  15. 15 Posted by Gary on 11 Dec, 2009 02:30 PM

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    Just wanted to add that I am experiencing the exact same problem described here - JVM error. I have tried uninstalling MD, re-installing with the Java version to no avail. I will have to go back to the 2008 version until this is resolved.

  16. 16 Posted by bonvanderhaer on 11 Dec, 2009 02:52 PM

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    I have expierienced exactly the same difficulties while installing MD 2010 as Ming did.
    Uninstalled a coupple of times MD 2010 and finally installed the old version MD 2008r4 (640).


  17. 17 Posted by Don Gregory on 11 Dec, 2009 03:42 PM

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    I'm pretty sure the Java version has nothing to do with it, unless MD requires an old version. I run Secunia PSI on my system(s) -- and it pesters me to both keep current, and also obliterate all old versions of Java, which I dutifully do. I run only the most current production release, and that has been the case for more than a year now. All others are gone.

    Memory could be the problem -- my XP system has only 2 GB (AMD Athlon 64 3000+, but running 32 bit XP). But why an XP System Restore would make MD work mystifies me.

  18. 18 Posted by rlsantella on 12 Dec, 2009 06:31 AM

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    I am having the exact same problem as described.

  19. 19 Posted by Dan on 12 Dec, 2009 03:17 PM

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    Me too.

  20. 20 Posted by rlsantella on 12 Dec, 2009 04:17 PM

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    There are a number of us with this problem. All we can do now is wait for
    the developers to come up with a solution.

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Dan
    [mailto:[email blocked]]
    Sent: Saturday, December 12, 2009 9:17 AM
    To: [email blocked]
    Subject: Re: MoneyDance 2010 fails to start with JVM could not be started
    error [Problems]

  21. 21 Posted by Ben Spencer on 13 Dec, 2009 10:08 PM

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    Hi All

    Thankyou for waiting patiently.

    This is almost certainly due to installing MD2010 over the top of MD2008. What seems to be happening is that Moneydance is trying to start using the older version of the jfreechart libraries that came with MD2008 instead of the newer jfreechart libraries that come with MD2010. Installing in a different folder should absolutely solve this problem. Could one of you try installing in a different folder other than the default and report back.


    Ben Spencer

  22. 22 Posted by Dan on 13 Dec, 2009 10:43 PM

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    Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately didn't work... I uninstalled 2008, deleted the folder, and installed 2010 in a new folder, but it brings up the same error.



  23. 23 Posted by rlsantella on 14 Dec, 2009 04:02 AM

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    I did the same. Installing in a different folder does not work. I get the
    same error message.

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Ben Spencer
    [mailto:[email blocked]]
    Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2009 4:09 PM
    To: [email blocked]
    Subject: Re: MoneyDance 2010 fails to start with JVM could not be started
    error [Problems]

  24. 24 Posted by bonvanderhaer on 14 Dec, 2009 06:00 AM

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    Did it already and tried it again but no luck!


  25. 25 Posted by Kevin on 15 Dec, 2009 02:20 AM

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    I just discovered the same problem and a solution. The issue appears to be that Moneydance is using an environment variable to find the JVM. Mine was set to:
    C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.5.0_16

    And I wanted JRE6. It's possible the above issues have to do with the environment variable pointing to the wrong or invalid JVM.

    Here's how to fix it:

    1. Press Windows + Break to get to System Properties. You can also right click on My Computer and select Properties.
    2. Select the Advanced tab
    3. Click Environment Variables at the bottom
    4. Under System variables, scroll down until you find the one named JAVA_HOME
    5. Edit JAVA_HOME (double click or use the Edit button) and set it to the location of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) you wish to use. On my system, I used the following:

    JAVA_HOME=C:\Program Files\Java\jre6

    This is the location that contains the newest, most up-to-date JVM for Java 6 (a.k.a. 1.6).

    1. After setting the path, click OK and then OK to exit System Properties.
    2. Launch Moneydance, then select Help -> About and verify the Java version is correct at the top.

    Good luck!


  26. 26 Posted by ming on 15 Dec, 2009 02:42 AM

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    Thanks for the suggestion Kevin. Nothing more satisfying than fixing your own problem, right?

    Unfortunately, that didn't work for me though. I didn't have a JAVA_HOME environment variable set. But, I tried setting it anyway and it still didn't work.

    After that I also tried to install into a new directory. That didn't work either. So, again, I'll be going back to 2008 until more comes out of MD support.

  27. 27 Posted by rlsantella on 15 Dec, 2009 02:58 AM

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    Didn't work for me.

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Kevin
    [mailto:[email blocked]]
    Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 8:21 PM
    To: [email blocked]
    Subject: Re: MoneyDance 2010 fails to start with JVM could not be started
    error [Problems]

  28. 28 Posted by Kevin on 15 Dec, 2009 04:28 AM

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    There are three more things to try:

    1. Check C:\Program Files\Moneydance for duplicate versions of jcommon.jar and jfreechart.jar. These are the only ones you need for MD 2010:


    Any others can be moved to a backup folder in case you need to revert back to MD 2008.

    1. If you have any other customizations to the Java class path that might be interfering, try messing with those settings. If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry about it.

    2. While running MD 2008, remove any plugins and exit. Then upgrade and see if MD 2010 runs. if it does, restore the plugins one at a time until you find the one that is causing trouble.

    I've now installed MD 2010 on top of MD 2008 (without uninstalling MD 2008 first) on two XP boxes running Java 1.6.0_17. Both installs went flawlessly. I also did a clean install on a Windows 7 box that was also successful. So unfortunately if you're still having trouble it may take some time to track down your specific problem. It is likely a problem due to your specific configuration.

    Good luck!


  29. Support Staff 29 Posted by Sean Reilly on 15 Dec, 2009 04:58 AM

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    Hi All,

    Based on BRF's suggestion I've reduced the size of the -Xmx flag (which sets an upper limit for the amount of RAM MD is allocated) and uploaded new installer/launchers for Moneydance build 727:

    Could you try one of the installers there and post your results to this thread?


  30. Support Staff 30 Posted by Sean Reilly on 15 Dec, 2009 05:02 AM

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    Kevin brings up an excellent point! If you are still having trouble after installing MD2010 in a separate folder than MD2008 then please post a list of the extensions you are using. The error seems to be a conflict in the version of graphing component that Moneydance uses, which I had assumed was coming from 2010 being installed over 2008 (resulting in both graphics libraries being loaded) but now suspect that one of your extensions might be loading the old graphics library, conflicting with the newer version that comes with MD2010.

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