Ok - unable to get the 3 to work together, I unistalled MySQL and Apache, found and removed the php.ini file from the Windows directory (didn't want Windows to get confused).
Then I downloaded the installer for XAMPP.
I am logged in on the only account - which is an Administrator accout. I checked this under the users control panel.
Then I launched the installer. The installer works fine - as far as I can tell - extracting and saving all files in the target directory.
then - the setup.bat (I assume) file starts up automatically.
PHPcli then starts up - and spits out a string of "access denied" at me, and shuts down, saying that everything is now installed! Yay.
Of course - it's not. No idea WHAT is going on, and why am getting permission errors. Why won't this install? Any ideas?