Just gonna put this out there for anyone having the Vista install problems mentioned in the xampp FAQ:
I couldn't get the xampp installer OR the bitnami wordpress installer to go past 68 bytes in mem before hanging. I didn't want to mess w/ AV software or the UAC settings. I had to boot into safe mode to do some other maintenance junk, and while there I ran the xampp installer and the wordpress installer, and both worked fine. Now I'm set for a local httpd,mysql,php,phpmyadmin,mail w/ wordpress desktop 'server'. I ftp'd what I needed from my live site and it all works.
Words of hard-earned wisdom: if you have Vista, don't touch any kind of IIS install, you'll go nuts & feel pushed to upgrade to Win 7. Wamp is OK, but the admin dashboards in xampp are waaaay better, more friendly and allow more granular control.
Have a guten tag! Ken in Pennsylvania, US.