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My setup is refusing all relative paths...

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  I've just finished setting up a testing server on my computer (apache 2.2, mySQL 5.0.24, and php 5.2), and I'm working on a php shopping cart (tutorial). Unfortunetly my testing server doesn't seem to accept any relative paths (ex: require_once '../admin/config.php'), so I just changed everything to absolute paths, which seemed to work. But now I'm installing phpmyadmin, so I can easily see my sql tables, and this program's php scripts are of course full of relative links (and it's way too complicated and large to edit). The errors I get look something like this:

[code]Warning: require_once(./libraries/common.lib.php) [function.require-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in C:\www\myadmin\scripts\setup.php on line 10[/code]

Does anyone have some advice on what could be causing my setup to reject all relative links? I hope I'm not asking an obvious question, but I searched this forum for a couple hours and couldn't seem to find an answer. Thanks!!

P.S. I could post my php.ini file if that would help...

P.S.S. I've only been working with php for maybe a year, so it's probably something stupid :)

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Please, please, please, somebody help with this problem.
It's been causing me to rip my hair out for 2 days.
I am also trying to run phpMyadmin, on apache2.2

with files installed in c:\...\Apache2.2\htdocs\phpMyadmin\
browsing to http://localhost/phpmyadmin (which loads c:\...\Apache2.2\htdocs\phpMyadmin\index.php),
a getcwd(); returns c:\...\Apache2.2

which doesn't help a require_once ( './libraries/common.lib.php')


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