You can launch the player in a "stand alone" mode but unless you have some Flash content that you would like to view it may not be of use to you. Think of the Flash Player as your Blu-Ray or DVD player which needs a DVD to provide you with content. If you would like to take a look at some great websites that feature Flash content at it's best, go to the Customer Showcase under the Flash section.
Do you mean installing the activex plugin for IE? I had this problem this week - it would successfully install from the download page but did not actually run any flash.
I downloaded standalone install and run that - now works. Search google for install_flash_player _10_ activex and you will several sites where it can be downloaded from (could not find it on adobe site but it must be there).