I am using Windows 7 not Vista so some things might be different on Vista.
If you click on Start, and then Control Panel (I think you might have to be in "Classic View" in Vista), do you see a Flash Player Icon?
If you see the Flash Player Icon and click on it does the Flash Player Control Panel come up?
If the Flash Player Control Panel comes up, and you click on the Advanced tab does it show what versions of Flash Player is installed?
When you have Internet Explorer running, if you click on TOOLS, then click on Manage Add-ons does it show Adobe Shockwave Object as installed? - is it shown as Enabled?
Like I said Vista might be different, but this might get you started in tracking down the problem.
thanks for responding. I have tried exactly what you suggest but the icon does not show. there is an installation icon but does nothing more than take me back to the adobe flash player installation site. I am sooo frustrated. I cannot even find out how to contact adobe!!
Click on the following link.
On the page that comes up go to the bottom where it says "Still having problems" and select the link for your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox or?)
I hope this works for you.