(This is a possible solution for most users) I have found that inside the folder C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash (WinXP Home/Pro) (Computer > C: Drive > Windows > System32 > Macromed > Flash for Vista) there should be a file named FlashUtil10b.exe (IF NOT YOU SHOULD UPDATE AS SPECIFIED!) (or FlashUtil10a.exe or for older versions something similar depending on your version), which is the update utility for flash player. Click on this and if it updates, you will have to restart your computer. This should fix any missing files, and update you to the latest version.
On a side note to all those who read this, I downloaded and installed 5 different times, the same version, from different websites, all for the "new" flash version, and they didn't work (this also included trying to update Shockwave player itself). Apparently, going directly to the website and downloading a new version of Adobe Flash Player, and installing, doesn't uninstall the older version, (though it says it does nor does the uninstaller work directly from the website) nor fixes the problem. I assume they are aware of this problem, because they included this bug fix in revision 10b. This fix should work for those of you whom cannot view/see flash images as well. There also appears to be a bug/reference problem with the installation of IE8 giving the error "Missing Shockwave Decompression XTRA", when trying to play a Shockwave/Flash file, which seems also to affect Firefox and other browsers. It doesn't recognize that the folder or files that it needs in it, exist. I never had his problem before, until IE8 was installed. I checked which version I had in the system32 folder and found this updater built in to Adobe. Version 10a does NOT automatically update, but version 10b includes this fix. I currently had version 10a when I received this error, and began digging for a solution. Doing the update as described above fixed the problem, and updated it to version 10b.
The new flash version 10b has some new features, such as volume control, auto-updating, and several rendering options for those who may have a faster or slower computer/video card.
I found this works great for XP users but unsure of the Vista users. The process is the same for Vista and the update should still work the same, as long as you run it as Administrator, I assume. I have this also posted on wwwdslreports.com at http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r22115254-IE-IE8-and-Adobe-Flash-Question and here http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r22361930-Adobe-Flash-Player-10-Fix-for-WinXP-IE 8-Firefox-ect. It appears to work for everyone so far. I have not heard of any problems from users with this problem running the RC (Release Canidate) for Windows 7 yet.
I hope this works to your benefit.
Please leave a reply to help Adobe and other users know if this fix worked for you or not. If not, please explain what you did, and the effects your seeing, including operating system, site of the flash file trying to view, browser type (ex. IE6, IE7, IE8, Firefox, Opera, ect.), and I will try to help you as best I can.
(I would strongly recommend those not using IE8, or Firefox 3.5, get the updated versions)
If your looking for uninstallers go to this site: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/141/tn_14157.html
If your looking for a true full install, you can download this developer version for Windows and Mac: http://download.macromedia.com/pub/flashplayer/updaters/10/flash_player_update2_flash10.zi p (44MB) (If you download this, I would recommend you still follow my instructions for the Flash Utility before restarting your computer.)