I tried this first with separately installed components, because that's what I did in the past. When I couldn't get it to work I tried installing XAMPP 1.7.4, believing that I would have an easier time if I had fewer parts to fit together. So far, though, no joy.
Here's what I see:
There is no icon for Apache in the system tray.
When I start the XAMPP Control Panel it opens a box which says:
XAMPP Component Status Check failure .
Current directory: (the directory in which I installed XAMPP)
Run this program only from your XAMPP root directory.
When I click OK this box closes and XAMPP opens. It shows that MySQL is running but Apache is not. When I click the Apache "Start" button the status box says:
Apache service started
...but the "Running" text visible next to "MySQL" never appears next to "Apache," and the Apache "Start" button never changes to "Stop."
The Task Manager never shows Apache running. Nor does the Services applet.
Apache's "logs" directory is empty.
When I open the URL "localhost" I get a page that says "It works!" Something is serving pages from somewhere, but I don't know what or where. I don't see anything in the Task Manager or the Services applet that looks like an HTTP server, and so far I haven't found an index.html file anywhere on the disk that changes the appearance of the "It works!" page when changed.
I've seen conflicting and confusing information about whether XAMPP supports WindoWs 7 (as a 64-bit system) at all. That might be the problem... or it might not.
Where do I start with this?