Here is the problem: I want to have a server (Apache, MySQL) on my local machine (for the current purpose it was a Windows machine) to do some developing, testing or a demo. Getting XAMPP at Sourceforge is straight forward, installing it works like a charm.
A problem coming back from time to time is the following: the MySQL daemon does not start.
Here are some steps that helped me:
1) make sure to deactivate any services related to MySQL and Apache
2) shutdown XAMPP
3) to be sure I restart the machine
4) do not start XAMPP with the .bat file but use the MySQL and Apache batch scripts – these open a command window which you should not close as long as you use XAMPP
Through these steps everything worked fine …