Assuming you've checked to make sure that Shockwave Flash is enabled in IE's addons manager and you do not have ActiveX filtering enabled, Could you check to see if you have the following Windows update installed?
If so, please uninstall it and try Flash Player out again.
Chris, thanks for getting back to me,
I will check on the Laptop in question for the KB Update and get back to you,
Chris, i would like to report that the update you refer to WAS installed. I removed it and flash player worked immediately.
I also note with interest that this microsoft update has been known to cause crashing on laptops with hybrid graphins. This is another symptom that i was experiencing.
thank you for your prompt assistance