first of all thank you for reading my post. I feel a bit stupid as it worked this morning; guess I should have booted instead of restarted. Maybe I also should have closed the browser session session instead of simply emptying the cache.
Here is what I ended up with. Maybe it will be useful for some other person running into the same problem.
I followed this instruction, found elsewhere in this forum:
Download the ZIP or 7zip version of XAMPP.
Extract (drag) the xampp folder to the C:\ drive or the root of any drive or partition like D:\, E:\, etc.
Run the C:\xampp\setup_xampp.bat file (this sets the correct paths for you).
Open the XAMPP Control Panel version 3 (xampp-control-3-beta.exe) found in the xampp folder and start Apache and MySQL (do not tick any service module boxes)
When both Apache and MySQL are running type http://localhost/ select your language and exercise all the demos in the left menu frame.
In config.inc.php I added the lines:
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['controluser'] = 'pma';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['controlpass'] = '';
I also might have added the line; $cfg['Servers'][$i]['connect_type'] = 'tcp';
Now I look forward to use XAMPP -- thanks -- Wolfgang