Sometimes it nice to have a local install of Magento on your machine so you may test different settings, extensions or modifications to your live site. Here I am going to show you how to properly setup a local host and install Magento on a Windows 7 Machine.
In order to have your localhost be directed as www.localhost.com, go to the bottom of your c:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc/host host file and include this:
Hit save and refresh Apache. Your local host should now be accessible to by going to http://www.localhost.com instead of http://127.0.0.1.
Also you many notice or experince the error I recived when I tried to view the front end for the first time after installing the sample data. Simple goto your localhost folder magento/var/cache/ and delete all the folders in this cache directory. Hit refresh and you should be good to go.
Hope this helps someone out there.
Thanks and Enjoy.
Devin R. Olsen