PROBLEM SOLVED! Server Diagnostic Check (Local)
Well, After 2 days of WTF? ... it sorta kinda ended up like this...
Using DREAMWEAVER - NOT a Web Browser...
Open the (local) index.php file located in the xampp\htdocs\install folder
THEN, choose Preview in Browser... from DREAMWEAVER!
Don't do what I was doing - Which WAS...
Using WINDOWS EXPLORER to choose the same file and then selecting "Open With" your browser.
What can I say?
It was opening the same page in the same browser, Right?
... It just didn't have the "required site code" when it opened.
"NEWB INSANITY" is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
MY NECK HURTS!
Thanks, Office Guy_172461. All that info was absolutely required for setup!