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For some time now (dunno exactly) Flash doesn't load here when it's embedded using the <embed> element. It works fine, however, if done via <object> alone. So most embedded videos in web pages don't work while YouTube itself works fine.

Any idea what causes this?

[IE 8, Windows 7]

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There's been an update to the Flash player recently. Have you got the latest version? If you haven't then upgrade, if you have then that could be the cause, but I can't see why. –  ChrisF Jun 28 '10 at 21:11
    
@Chris: I did upgrade, on both my machines. But I think the flakiness started before the update already (and just on one machine – the other still works fine). –  Joey Jun 29 '10 at 0:38
    
OK - can't think of anything else to try right now though. –  ChrisF Jun 29 '10 at 8:40
    
Hm. I have the same problem. It seemed to start after I installed an update to Flash that Steam required... –  Eric Brown Jul 6 '10 at 18:28
    
I have the same problem too. My understanding that it doesn't work when embedded via HTML but works if it's done using Javascript. It also works perfectly on another user account on my machine which is another oddity. Have you found a solution? –  Alan Mendelevich Nov 24 '10 at 6:51
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2 Answers

The EMBED tag has a long and troubled history, being first introduced by Netscape, therefore being shunned by Microsoft up until IE3, then declared as deprecated in HTML 4 in favor of the OBJECT tag, then making a comeback in HTML 5.

The difference between the embed and object tags is that the embed tag infers the processing application based upon the data type, while the object tag expects you to explicitly specify the application by the classid and codebase attributes.

You should also be aware of the fact that IE uses an ActiveX control to display Flash, so that the Flash display in IE and other browsers is not done by the same software. This of course causes problems.

There are two possible causes that I can see for the EMBED tag not functioning:

  1. The Shockwave Flash ActiveX is broken (check here)
  2. The .swf MIME type is broken. This is probably defined in this registry key:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Mime\Database\Content Type\application/x-shockwave-flash.

More info is to be found in : Troubleshoot Flash Player installation | Windows.

Some useful resources are:
JavaScript Flash Detection Library (Flash Detect)
ActiveXHelper - view essential information about installed ActiveX components.

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Thanks, I'll try your suggestions, but... 1) I've tried reinstalling Flash; 2) It works well when I login into another Windows account (I guess HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT is machine-wide, right?). Works on 1 account (admin), doesn't work on other 2 (standard users). Tried making those 2 users admins but that didn't help. –  Alan Mendelevich Nov 25 '10 at 7:10
    
Account-specific results may point to UAC problems with the Flash installation. See "Update Flash Player on Windows Vista and Windows 7" in my Troubleshoot link. –  harrymc Nov 25 '10 at 7:58
    
Tried that without success :( I guess I'll just give up and tell my wife to use Chrome. –  Alan Mendelevich Nov 25 '10 at 17:54
    
What happens if you temporarily turn of UAC and reboot? (before you get in troubles with the wife) –  harrymc Nov 25 '10 at 19:50
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Sort of a shotgun solution to weird security settings...

Reset IE settings:

Internet Options > Advanced tab > Reset button

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Tried that. No luck. –  Alan Mendelevich Nov 29 '10 at 10:33
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