I am having the same issues install on XP SP3, all dir on C:\XAMPP.
After clean install of XAMPP install of WordPress both in admin and wordpress crash (stops install UI still visible) and apache crashes as per James.
3:29:18 PM [Apache] Error: Apache shutdown unexpectedly.
3:29:18 PM [Apache] This may be due to a blocked port, missing dependencies,
3:29:18 PM [Apache] improper privileges, a crash, or a shutdown by another method.
3:29:18 PM [Apache] Press the Logs button to view error logs and check
3:29:18 PM [Apache] the Windows Event Viewer for more clues
3:29:18 PM [Apache] If you need more help, copy and post this
3:29:18 PM [Apache] entire log window on the forums
and wordpress install stuck for ever on "Creating databases - this may take..." for EVER.
Tried unistall and start fresh... both failed.
Any work around for this issue?