Let's take a moment to look at where MySQL will reside on your system. If you do not yet have MySQL installed, refer to Appendix A, "Installing MySQL."
The location of MySQL programs, libraries, and other files depends on the installation prefix used when MySQL was installed. Typically, the prefix is either /usr/MySQL or /usr/local/MySQL.
In the location used on your system, you will find the following subdirectories:
The MySQL configuration file is named my.cnf. The file /etc/my.cnf contains global settings, but you can also create a file named my.cnf in the data directory that applies only to that MySQL server; it is possible to have multiple MySQL servers on one machine.
The default install location is C:\Program Files\MySQL. The system is installed in a subfolder that is named using the MySQL minor version number. For example, MySQL 5.0.18 is installed to C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.0.
In the version-specific install location, you will find the following subdirectories:
In the installation directory, you will also find a number of sample configuration files. The current configuration is found in my.ini located in this folder.
MySQL is installed as a Windows service. To start and stop the database server, go to Control Panel, Administrativ Tools, and select Services. A program group in the Start menu contains a shortcut to the MySQL monitor program and the configuration wizard.