|I don't have any suggestions regarding flash except for uninstalling then reinstalling.|
About the recycle bin. Are you saying that there is NOTHING in it at all or that there are items showing up but no "empty" button?
Anyway, do you have the properties set to send files to the recycle bin? You can check by right clicking on recycle bin then properties. If that is correct. Go to "tools" then folder options then uncheck "hide protecting operating system files" press yes or ok and make sure that hidden files are shown. Then go to the C:\ drive and delete the RECYCLED folder, it's icon should be the recycle bin then restart and see if the problem persists.