Let me tell you how you can install Drupal on your home desktop for development using XAMPP. This is one of the easiest methods to get started.
Step 1: Download and install XAMPP Lite Dont install XAMPP or others, unless you are advanced user.
After installation you will see a command prompt window pop-up. Just keep the default options of Yes and No for the questions asked. Close the command prompt window.
You now have XAMPP on your computer, but DON’T DO ANYTHING WITH IT YET.
Step 2: Setting up Drupal
Download latest version of drupal. Extract it under htdocs folder of XAMPP Lite. So if you have installed it in your c:\, the path for drupal would be C:\xampplite\htdocs\drupal
When you extract it would have created the folder drupal-1.17, just rename that folder to “drupal”. Inside this folder you should have include, misc, modules etc folders.
Copy & paste the file “default.settings.php” in “c:\xampp\htdocs\drupal\sites\default”, under the drupal directory, and name it “settings.php”.
You should now have two identical files in your “c:\xampp\htdocs\drupal\sites\default” folder — one called “settings.php” and one called “default.settings.php”
Step 3: Getting started with Drupal and XAMPP
Double click the XAMPP Control Panel icon on your desktop.
Under “Modules” click the “svc” box for Apache so there is a check in it. Click Apache START. DO NOT click the “svc” box for MySql, but do click the START button for MySql. When both Apache and MySql change from “start” to “running”,
Click the “Admin” button next to MySql a new browser window will open for “phpMyAdmin”
Now create a new database with the name you want.
Create a new user and password and click the radio button Grant all privileges on wildcard name
Open URL http://localhost/drupal (If you only type in http://localhost you’ll get the XAMPP program)
A Drupal screen should open. If not, check your XAMPP controller box (double click the XAMPP icon on your desktop if you need to open it) and make sure both XAMPP and MySql are started.
Now follow the steps as you would install drupal on the server.
If you have not created the database user, then you can enter Database user name enter root (all lowercase) and for Database password LEAVE THIS BLANK. Do not enter anything.
Once you’re finished, you will get an error message about your e-mail account. Ignore that for now. Your Drupal install is now complete and usable.
To access Drupal whenever you login to your computer, open a browser window, go to http://localhost/drupal and enter your user name and password. Remember to make sure both Apache and MySql are running in the XAMPP controller box (double click on the desktop XAMPP icon).