You don't have permission to access / on this server. Apache, win 7

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http://serverfault.com – read all the posts regarding this issue - and none of them seed to help my instance... I just moved all my dev stuff form a vista machine (where it worked fine) to a Windows 7 machine - Apache 2.2... and I'm using the same conf files... but now for some reason my .htaccess file is causing a "You don't have permission to access / on this server." error. (I am positive it's the .htaccess file - because if i remove or rename the file from the directory - the site comes up just fine...) now - the .htaccess file is used to facilitate short URLs and I cannot simply remove it - it's not my site to (HowTos)