The process OracleXE is already running. When issue the startup this is what i get
SQL*Plus: Release 188.8.131.52.0 Production on Tue Aug 6 08:10:41 2013
Copyright (c) 1982, 2010, Oracle. All rights reserved.
SQL> connect sys/EdgeCell1 as sysdba
Connected to an idle instance.
ORA-01078: failure in processing system parameters
ORA-01565: error in identifying file 'C:\oraclexe\app\oracle\product\11.2.0
ORA-27041: unable to open file
OSD-04002: unable to open file
O/S-Error: (OS 2) The system cannot find the file specified.
shouldn't all the init and spfiles be created as part of the install?
Yes, but sometimes things don't go as they should... if there isn't anything in that directory, then it means that something did go wrong with the installation, and the database didn't get created. In this case I'd try to reinstall from scratch.
BTW, which edition is your Windows 7 ? (No Home editions of any Windows versions are certified for Oracle).
>> the OracleServiceXE that is running ...?
That is the database service. That has to be set up in the early part of the install. In a Windows host, no Service, no Database Instance.
The listener service isn't important yet, it allows remote connections to the instance. Other services the installer creates aren't really relevant for an XE install. Two or three others, but the database service is the critical one.