'tools.jar' is not in IDEA classpath

I get the above message after installing Idea 11. In addition it says:

Please ensure JAVA_HOME points to JDK rather than JRE


I have had to go back to a previous version of IntelliJ which works perfectly with my current env settings (JAVA_HOME points to JDK and not JRE). Why is IDEA taking IntelliJ backwards with version 11 as far as intelligently working with the system environment?

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Neither I nor any of my co-workers have encountered this issue in IDEA 11. And I have not seen any mention of it in the forums or the bug tracker. And given the significance of the issue, if it was common, I am sure there would be a lot of activity reporting it. So I do not think it is a case that "IDEA taking IntelliJ backwards with version 11 as far as intelligently working with the system environment". My suspicion is this is either A) a corrupt install; B) a misconfiguration (possibly due to a change in requirements) or C) a case of a misleading error message.

Let's see if we can track down the problem. Can you answer the following questions to help in doing that.

  1. What OS are you on?
  2. How did you install IDEA? (installer or zip file). And have you tried a reinstall to rule out a corrupt install?
  3. What specific version of IDEA 11 did you install? Is it the latest 11.1.3?
  4. What version of IDEA did you have to revert to? Was it another version of 11.x or something earlier such as 10.x or 10.5.x?
  5. What version (including vendor and 32-bit vs 64-bit) of the JDK does your JAVA_HOME env variable point to?
  6. Is it a v1.6 or greater JDK?
  7. Is is a Sun/Oracle JDK? (Other vendor's JDK's are not supported for running IDEA.)
  8. Is the tools.jar file present in the lib directory of the configured JDK? Is it accessible and not corrupt? (Open it with a zip utility).
  9. Do you have an IDEA_JDK env variable defined? If so, this will take precedence over the JAVA_HOME env variable when IDEA launches If so, please answer questions 6-8 for this JDK.
  10. Do you have a JDK_HOME env variable set? If so, this will take precedence  over the JAVA_HOME env variable when IDEA launches. If so,please answer questions 6-8  for this JDK. (Search order (at least on Windows) is (1) IDEA_JDK  (2) 'jre' dir in IntelliJ IDEA install dir  (3) JDK_HOME (4) JAVA_HOME)


Hopefully the process of answering those questions will reveal the problem. If not, their answers can help the community assist you in resolving the problem.

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