Here's the deal:
I have a full rights administrative account with which I installed Google Earth. On this account the program opens and runs as normal.
The system is running Windows XP and the security for the program is set to 'Everyone'. When I log in as another user (non-admin) and try to run Google Earth it appears to work for a second but then the globe turns black and does not function properly. For example if I search for an address it will zoom in on the globe and then turn black.