Sounds like you have the wrong JAVA version installed. (i.e. 32 bit vs 64 bit)
thanks for the response, I tried installing 32 bit jre and I'm still getting the same error
(I cannot remove JRE 64 bit as I have a custom java app to run) and I thought the bundled JVM with dev studio solved all these issues
I know they started bundling JVM with Development Studio, but I don't recall in what version they started doing that. Since 7.6.03 is pretty old, it may or may not contain a bundled version.
Check the Development Studio.ini file in the DEV Studio install directory to see what JVM it is pointing to and modify it accordingly. I'd recommend you try it with both the 32b and 64b JVM version ... one of them should work from what I recall.
thanks, that resolved the issue