Ok, I really feel like a dummy. I have dragged a zillion executable files to the desktop and selected "create a shortcut here". Apparently, I selected to copy that file to the desktop instead. Yes, I have been starting the control panel from the desktop instead of a shortcut starting it from my XAMPP root.... so sorry!
Everything is working fine. Can I now delete the renamed folders and files that the new control panel replaced, or should I just leave them if they aren't causing any problems.