except that I'm working on a laptop with windows 7 and the passage so kindly explained by Sharley:
Click on start>run>cmd.exe
netsh winsock RESET
Restart your PC and again try and start Apache
it's not working for me because I cannot reset my winsock. Console tells me it could not load wshelper.dll.
Maybe this is not the right place to ask for but, after 5 days of torment and tons of ms useless suggestions read, and a deadline deadly approaching, I'd really want to die because, of course, I really CANNOT do a system repair...
thanks in advance