I did not discover what is deleting the registry key.
( I think it is firefox )
However, I made some changes to firefox that has kept flash functioning.
Read the last few posts at Mozilla here about my fix.
I believe that mozilla was not willing to admit thier browser is deleting it's own registry keys.
They did provide information to keep flash functioning.
Thanks for the feedback. It will become more and more diffucult to run old operating systems...
Disregard .. or delete.
I had a hard disk failuer yesterday, and thought my last backup image had my fix.
I will need to re-apply.