Just an update on this. The security link for the xampp page did not open. It had a file not found error which had this message in the log:
[Sat May 05 10:36:09 2012] [alert] [client 127.0.0.1] C:/xampp/htdocs/xampp/.htaccess: Invalid file path C:C:\\xampp\\security\\xampp.users
The link file was security/lang.php?en
The reason for this problem was that the installation placed the .htaccess file inside the security/htdocs/ instead of outside it. When I moved the .htaccess and related files, I was then able to get into the security part of the xampp administration. In addition, phpMyAdmin would not let me into the database (which I had access to earlier).
At this point I put in a user for admin user 'root' with a password, restarted the computer and was able to verify all working correctly.
Bottom line: there are some minor installation errors in the package. Here are my suggestions:
1. The documentation starts off a little confusing. It says first use the top level of your drive but later it says you can put your installation where you want it. In the readme_en.txt it is quite confusing. There is a note in front of step 1 and then step 1. What it should say is:
Step 1: Unpack the package into root of the directory you will use for the installation, like c:\, e:\ or w:\.
I found out the hard way that if I put in on a drive other than the one which was going to hold the installation, the paths were messed up. In my case this was c:/xampp.
As it is, the security module and the status module both were not runnable until I fixed the paths (was getting cc:\\xmapp\\ etc.). Also the security was not runnable because the .htaccess files were in the wrong place.
I think that this distribution is labeled beta, so if this helps someone correct these minor items, it will be a help for future installs and maybe result in less frustrated calls for help.
Overall, I have the highest regard to Apache Friends and I have used xampp/php/mysql with great success since 2009. I only had to do this reinstall because I was trying to integrate ssl from PayPal not realizing that their instructions conflicted with the way xampp is running.
Thank you & sincerely,
"Art is the indispensible medium for the communication of a moral ideal."