During install SilverStripe 2.4.4 I had this errror:
"You need mod_rewrite to use friendly URLs with SilverStripe, but it is not enabled."
It is/was not a SilverStripe error it is a WAMP (Apache) error. No need in this case to edit .htaccess or whatever.
(Working here with Win7Pro(64Bit), using VMware and installed XPPro Srv3 where problem started by using WAMP for SS)
#Click on WAMP (server online state or not is not relevant)
Scroll till you see: rewrite_module
#make it active by selecting
Now restart all services (WAMP)
Issue should be solved now (at least did with me and installation went flawless)