First you'd download the newest binary release of Image Magick from http://www.imagemagick.org/script/binary-releases.php#windows. The typical version you'd want to snag will end with Q16-windows-dll.exe. For example, the version I downloaded was ImageMagick-6.4.9-4-Q16-windows-dll.exe. Install Image Magick. Where you install Image Magick isn't important, although I would recommend installing it in your Xampp directory. For example <wherever you installed Xampp>/ImageMagick. This way if you need to take your Xampp server with you on a portable drive or flash drive, any code you write which relies on Image Magick and Imagick will still work.
Then you'll want to go download Imagick, which is the middle-man between Image Magick and PHP, from http://valokuva.org/?page_id=50. You should download the php_imagick_dyn-Q16.dll if you downloaded the Q16-windows-dll version of Image Magick that I mentioned above. You need to put the php_imagick_dyn-Q16.dll file in the following directory: <wherever you installed Xampp>/php/ext.
Next you will want to edit your php.ini. If you don't know where to find this file it should be <wherever you installed Xampp>/apache/bin. Once you've opened up php.ini you will want to find a line that says extension=php_imagick.dll and comment it out if it isn't already. When commented out it should look like ;extension=php_imagick.dll. Then you'll want to add extension=php_imagick_dyn-Q16.dll just below that. So it should look like:
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Ok, so now, here's the last and final step, the fix which gets it everything working like it should. Download Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package (x86) vcredist_x86.exe from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/deta ... laylang=en. Download vcredist_x86.exe and install it.
Hopefully this post helps someone else out that is having problems trying to get Imagick working with Xampp on Windows XP. I got the general instructions and tips on how to get all this working from the following sources.
http://valokuva.org/?page_id=50 more specifically http://valokuva.org/?page_id=50#comment-9248