Please forgive the length of this post; I have a complex problem with a lot of symptoms and a lot of background. But if you like chewing on a really tough problem, this might be just your cup of tea...
The title of this post is the text of an error message that pops up on my Samsung Galaxy Note 3, periodically, but most especially when I try to perform any operation that (implicitly or explicitly) iterates through the contents of a media folder. Fortunately, the stopped process appears to be either immediately restarted, or is only partly stopped, e.g. maybe only one thread is dying (I get that in Chrome on this device, from time to time)...
Starting at the same time (see below), many photos and videos, including many shot on this same device before the problem started, are not recognized / found / presented / usable in the Gallery or Photos apps, and those that are found / ... etc..., are presented in a semi-random order, not in order by timestamp as they used to be. I seem to recall, too, that, in Gallery at least, photos from many Gallery "folders" all appear together under "Camera (SD Card)". Makes it real hard to find anything. Oh, and everything that's been photographed, downloaded, etc., since the problem started, is just fine and behaves normally, "as it should."
Using the "My Files" app, the "missing" photos -- .jpg files - - are still present in the folder(s) they always were, right along with the "non-missing" ones that do show up just fine in Gallery. I can double-tap any files,of either type, and it will open in Gallery, but with a crucial difference in app behavior: for s"non-missing" file, opened this way, the hamburger/options button in Gallery pops up a menu with many options you can apply to the image: "Edit", "Write On Image", "Rotate Left", "Rotate Right", etc. (just as it would if I had simply opened Gallery in the first place), but performing the exact same operations upon a missing "missing" file, the menu that pops up contains only one item: "Set As...".
I conclude (or maybe I Googled and learned) that somewhere there is global (i.e. used by both Photos and Gallery -- probably a consequence of both of them using the process that is stopping -- metadata about which files are legitimate (?) images acceptable to Gallery and Photo) metadata, and that this metadata must have gotten corrupted. I found an app, "media.Re.Scan", that alleges to rebuild that metadata -- but it fails to correct the problem, as it obviously has to iterate over the files, and thus simply triggers the process-stop and error message that is the title of this post, many, many times. (When this happens, to clear the dialogue from the display I have to click "OK" many times. I deduce that what looks like a single dialog must actually be a stack of them, and that each tap on OK peels away one off the top. The rescan app has a button that you can hit if the scan fails, which claims to erase all the data of a running app (?) or process (?) named Media Storage, but that operation also does not fix the problem.
This all started when I "downgraded" back to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 after "upgrading" to the Samsung S8+ (and not liking it, for reasons unrelated to this problem). The only thing I can think of that might have started all of this off is that I made one obvious error, twice -- forgot that I needed to Unmount the data SD card before removing it from one device and putting it on the other. Did that in both directions. Many of my images, including everything that is/was shot by the Note 3 itself ("Camera" folder), resides on the SD card. Unfortunately, though, the process-stop problem doesn't go away when I remove (properly!) the SD card from the Note 3 and work only with files that are on the device and were merely copied to the S8+ as part of transferring my data in the course of the "upgrade".
I'm almost wondering whether it's possible that some new version of "the android.process.media process" could have gotten transferred from the S8+ to the Note 3 in the "downgrade" data transfer, replacing some Note 3 code with S8+ code that's slightly incompatible with the older hardware. Either that, or the corrupted metadata is on the device -- quite possibly in a part of the filesystem inaccessible to users.
I have tried Samsung tech support: spent six hours on the phone, with four different people, trying various things that didn't help. The last thing they recommended was to do a factory reset -- but won't that erase all my stored data? Frankly, that's a bit "too big a hammer!" Besides, I have hundreds of tabs open in Chrome on the Note 3, and thousands of bookmarks, none of which transferred to the S8+ in the "upgrade", and Sync has never worked for me, so I'd need to back up everything else, and devise a way to back up these things too, across a factory reset.
Chrome is supposed to sync bookmarks across devices, but this is never work for me. In addition, the set of open tabs does not seem to be synced at all in any case. There is no way to convert a huge mass of open tabs to bookmarks (I'm spoiled by Firefox's "bookmark all open tabs" button, on my laptop) and if there were, there is no way to set them aside into a separate folder (Firefox again) to distinguish them from pre-existing bookmarks. This stuff needs to be preserved across a factory reset, before I will even consider doing one. It seems that any method of preserving this stuff will have to be a hack. A Chrome engineer could easily find and preserve/restore whatever list allows Chrome to reopen all those tabs after, say, a phone power-down (unless they are kept only in the Chrome process memory image, uggh), but I don't even know what to look for, and it may be in a part of the filesystem inaccessible to me, anyway. Or, I could bookmark each individual tab, one at a time, by hand, but jeez, what a chore -- and that still leaves me the problem getting sink to work, which I have not solved in 3 years since getting the phone. I've even considered manually copying all the URLs from the address field of each tab to a text file -- but again, jeez. Not to mention that I have no way to preserve and restore any of my other data, either, as I have neither the cable nor the software, as far as I know, that Sprint uses in there upgrade data transfer process - - nor another device onto which to transfer it!
So... Any of you have any ideas?