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Just been thru something very similar in CS5.5 (fully updated). Windows 7
The transport controls were showing that the video should have been playing but the monitors were not displaying running footage.
This was also affecting Windows Media Player as well as Audition. Quicktime was o.k but flaky.
After some trial and error and a lot of messing around with drivers and uninstalling stuff...I believe I narrowed it down to my audio card ( M-Audio Delta).
Disabling it (today) seems to be working and I am now using audio from the HD Audio (onboard card).
Fingers crossed at the moment.
Many thanks for the suggestion, it turned out to be closely related to my problem. I checked the audio driver setting in Pr and it had somehow gotten set to "Premier Pro WDM Sound". I set it back on "EMU ASIO" and all is well now.
Other users may be interested to know I had the same problem and tried troubleshooting every which way - including the sledgehammer approach. I have done three re-installs, Adobe clean sweep, registry edits - The WORKS!
I couldn't understand why an audio card issue would be related, so I never tried it. I had both a VIA chipset audio and an Nvidia HD audio set up, as well as a bluetooth audio drive. I disabled everything except the VIA and viola! the play-stop button works once more.
Thank you so much, shooternz.