I see from reading that this file can alternately be called my.ini, my.cnf, my.cnf.bak, etc, and can be located in multiple places. I find myself wishing the file could have only one name and be located in only one possible place in my file system, though that may be an issue with the OS.
I found one copy of my.ini at C:\xampp\mysql\bin -- if I leave it in that location, will it work? Are there other locations where mysql may look first and where I must ensure I do not have a copy of another file with any of the preceding file names?
ps -- Is there some way I can test whether I am editing the correct file in the correct location? Is there something I can add to the file that will make something obvious happen (website outage, errors, etc) if it is the correct config file? My changes to these config files (variously named and located) do not seem to have any effect. My XAMP version is 1.7.2. MySQL is MySQL 5.1.37. My OS is Windows XP.
pps -- By the way I do see that there are some relevant instructions in the my.ini file itself, but I don't understand these instructions and don't know if they are up to date. My attempts to follow the comments in the my.ini file itself have not gotten me to a point where I can know whether I am editing the right file in the right location. Thanks for your help.