There have been a few 0 day vulnerabilities, and Adobe have been pushing a few updates recently.
The fact that you have said "a range of laptops and other Windows 7 installs" make me think (with no insult to you) that you may have simply lost track of what has what.
If you want to check for any errors, you can uninstall Flash then reinstall it, (or just try to reinstall straight away), I would recommend you use the Ninite installer.
I have prepared an installer for you here, which contains both the flash component for firefox/third party browsers and the IE component.
If this doesn't work, you really need to take a look here, restart and try to update then confirm whether or not an update actually occurred.... If there is an error, please say and we will try to help you further.