This solution is applicable to systems running on a 64 bit Environment

A quick note: if I do not reply to your comment, it’s because I do not have an answer to your particular question.
Yet another quick note: The latest build of Minecraft now has a notice in the Video Settings window that will tell you if you have a 64 bit or a 32 bit processor with a 64 bit or 32 bit installation of Java (Screenshot by rjc34 in /r/minecraft).

My original post posted May 30, 2011:

I recently acquired a brand new computer with an x64 (64 bit) Processor and x64 OS and noticed that even with all the necesseties of Minecraft installed it would still crash. Almost always, Minecraft would just freeze for 5 seconds and then crash with a black screen.

It’s a common issue and most “work around fixes” are setting the viewing distance to anything but far. I searched everywhere for a fix, but couldn’t get a fix for this crash. Sure the setting viewing distance to anything but far would slightly fix the problem but only by prolonging the crash by say 15-30 minutes.

I checked what version of Java was installed on my machine and it was an x86 (32 bit) version. When most install a component such as Java, some automatically think that it’s fit for their system no matter what. If you go to the java download page you’ll see the big red download button, but underneath it says “Not the right operating system? See all Java downloads here“. Go there (http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp) and download the x64 version of Java and

I uninstalled my 32 bit version of Java and downloaded the x64 version and installed it. I have had Minecraft idling for an hour without a crash and I will update this post when I know that this fixed it.

So if you have this issue;

  1. Find out if your processor is either 32 bit or 64 bit
    Almost every new computer built today is a 64 bit system
  2. If you’re the impatient type like me, uninstall your current java and install the 64 bit
    Everyone hates to admit it, but in the midst of things you might have overlooked that you most likely installed the 32 bit version on a 64 bit system. Go to http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp and download the 64 bit version for your OS (Windows, Solaris or Linux)
  3. Launch Minecraft
    See if Minecraft will run on any rendering distance and play for as long as you like

Please let me know if this fixed it for you, I’ll update this post once I know for sure that it solved my problem. I’ve had Minecraft running in the background while writing this and it’s still running!

Edit: Minecraft hasn’t crashed all day month year, I’ll call this a confirmed fix!
Feel free to share this page to anyone with this problem!