I have a new computer with (ugh) Windows 7. I downloaded xampp. The control panel says that it is version 2.5 Windows 6.1 Build Platform 2. Current directory c:\xampp. The Apache server shows as Running. No other servers are running.
I placed my php files in c:\xampp\apache\htdocs. When I try to access one of them in localhost, the browser cannot find it. I changed the text displayed in c:\xampp\apache\htdocs\index.html, but when I access http://localhost/index.html, it still says "It works!" So, the index.html file being used is evidently in a different folder.
I noticed that there is another copy of Apache in c:\Program Files (x86). The "Date modified" is the same as the one in xampp. I did not download Apache by hand, so I assume that the xampp installation created both.
I am willing to start over. Are there idiot-proof instructions somewhere as to how to download, install, and configure Apache, php, and mysql for Windows 7?