I am just putting this out here for anyone else who runs into it....
I've spent most of the past couple days trying to figure out why many of my xampp pages (including the home page) were not displaying properly, there was no Instant Art or Flash Art, and I could not run phpMyAdmin.
My displays and error messages looked very simlar to those shown in This Thread elsewhere in this forum.
All problems seem to point to php configuration. In my case, the problem was a stand-alone installation of PHP I had put on my system a year ago and then forgot about. As soon as I uninstalled PHP through the Add/Remove Programs function in the Windows Control Panel, Xampp worked perfectly!