The silly Flash player failed to update in IE8 the other day; clicking the Get Flash link would take me to the installer page but the “gold bar” would never appear for me tell IE to download and install the player.
Chrome and Firefox are easier to deal with as the Flash plugin is installed through Add/Remove Programs.
Although forum reply suggested resetting IE fixed the problem for him I’m not that kind of guy ;-). For the record, Tools > Internet Options, Advanced tab and click the Reset… button.
In my case I resolved the problem by running the Flash uninstaller from the Flash Player Support Center