To answer my own question I've been scratching around a bit and have uncovered a couple of interesting titbits.
After following Bazcaz's instructions the Flash Player plugin disappeared from my FF plugins folder in WinXP...
C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\Plugins
The latest Flash Player installer puts the plugin here:
I've copied the NPSWF32.dll file into the plugins folder of FirefoxPortable and it tested fine and dandy with Flash Player 188.8.131.52.
It's been overlooked in this thread that there are two types of Flash Players, one for browsers that rely on plugins (eg. Firefox, possibly Opera - not sure) and another for browsers reliant on ActiveX controls (that would be Internet Explorer). Each browser type uses an independent and separate version of Flash. So if you intend to use, say, FF and IE then two versions of Flash should be installed.
Sure enough, when I tested IE it couldn't play Flash objects on web pages. The ActiveX control for Flash had never been installed - goes to show how often IE gets used on my system!
Whilst the latest versions of Flash Player can be downloaded from Adobe's website it's more convenient to track this sort of thing down at File Hippo
. At this site it's very easy to find the latest version of all sorts of software there - freeware, shareware and open souce. Just a quick search and usually you've found what you were looking for first try.
Here's the link for Flash Player for non-IE browsers:
http://www.filehippo.com/download_flash ... efox/4008/
This is the link for Flash Player for IE:
Users have had a few problems updating Flash Player since the advent of Flash Player 184.108.40.206. Here's some articles on the trials and tribulations endured by one scribe. The last link is the most recent and includes links for dealing with this issue on Mac and Linux too.
Using Adobe's uninstaller for Flash Player at the outset as Bazcaz recommended certainly makes the process of upgrading much less of an ordeal. Onya Baz!
Flash Player test page with table showing latest version for various platforms:
Upgrading Flash Player reminded me to check out the latest versions of Adobe Shockwave Player and Java Runtime Environment.
A single Shockwave install works in all browsers. The latest version is 220.127.116.119.
Adobe's download page states v18.104.22.168:
Or try File Hippo:
Shockwave test page:
Trying to track down the latest version of Java Runtime Environment at Sun's website was a bit of a test. The easiest download pages to find offered JRE 6 update 5 but eventually I unearthed Sun's page listing all the latest versions of Java software including JRE 6 update 6. It was very well hidden.
Much easier to find at File Hippo:
Don't forget to uninstall older versions of JRE if you no longer need them - common or garden users won't. Do so via XP's Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs. Alternatively, give the uninstaller in CCleaner's 'Tools' window a try - it works a treat, something I'll be using a lot in future.
Sun's Java version verification pages:
There's also this useful independent test page:
It's worthwhile checking out the Other Testers
page at this site too. Scroll down a bit and there are links to testers for email, ActiveX, popup blockers and more.