|I had a very simmilar problem with Google Earth and Win2K. It wouldn't play nice aor not played at all.|
The only thing I had did to my PC was do the normal Windows Critical Updates.
Same as you I un-installed it, re-installed it, Upgaded DirectX just like you. Still same problem.
The only way I'm able to run it now is When it first opens, There is a dialog box that opens up (halfway hidden) that asks if I was to use DirectX (Recommended) or Not. I drag the box covering out the way and pick Not to open it the DirectX then it works fine.
It has to be something with one of the Windows Updated, but I don't which one or why. Maybe you can post a question to Google Earth's tech support or forum? See what they say. Maybe a "bug" or something.
Who knows, knows and who doesn't know, dosen't know jack!
El que sabe, sabe y el que no sabe, no sabe nada!