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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?

Edited by Xetwnk: Reword, shrink, fix typos

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Last Post by rproffitt
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Let's chat about TWO THINGS. I'm going to condense the long post into 2 areas.

  1. iterates through the contents of a media folder. (and crash.)
  2. Transfers to your new phone.

On item 1, this issue is not new. We saw that for decades on Windows where Windows File Explorer and/or the Windows OS would crash on certain images or videos. This issue is still present today so go ahead and tell me I'm not helping. Moving forward. Just like in Windows the OS maker or distributor isn't going to fix this one. Microsoft didn't for decades and maybe not today for another long reason. But let's skip to how I work item 1. I clean out the media folder and usually that's the end of that. We can put in half of the content at a time to see where or what it blows up on but good luck on convincing the makers to fix this one.

On item 2. I agree that's a pain. But just like in Windows we get to work to transfer to the new device. There are long discussions about backup and restore. That said I use Google's Sync feature and moved phones last month. But I did have to manually install the few apps I used and for reasons that only a lawyer can explain, had to look at how to transfer SMS messages.

That's the short answer.

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Thank you for replying so quickly.

I was not aware that this problem had existed on Windows - - I have never seen it there.

I like the idea of pulling all of the files off the device, and the SD card, to somewhere else, and then gradually putting them back and seeing when/if the crash reappears.

"Getting rid of the folder" -- do you mean, say: moving all of the accessible photos from, say, the Camera folder to another folder, then repointing the camera app to save to the device rather than the SD card, then deleting the Camera folder from the SD card? I can certainly do that, but then how do I put it all back together in a non-corrupted way, afterwards?

Would it be advisable to reformat the SD card, too, somewhere in the middle of all that, after removing everything but before starting to put it back on? I may try that, first, just because it's simple and if it works I'm done.

I'd still really like to hear from a "Google Chrome on Android" software engineer, though ;-) as to how to get those tabs and bookmarks off the device. It's not a matter of transferring to another phone, as I don't have another phone handy. I need a way to transfer them to a Windows laptop or something.

Thanks again.

Edited by Xetwnk

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Sorry if I didn't state it well. Your choice to empty the folder to some other place for testing. It's a very very old issue.

As to formatting the SD card, THAT'S A VERY GOOD THING TO DO. As you're never sure of the integrity of the file system, this usually removes all doubt.

-> I'm just an older programmer, started back in the early teletype days and let's hope your Google engineer shows up.

But as to tabs, on Chrome? I thought tabs come and go as I use the browser. And tabs on Android Chrome doesn't look the same until I get to the 10 inch Android tablet.

BOOKMARKS ON CHROME. Here, since I sign in on Chrome this synced. Now there are folk that refuse to use Chrome like that and they usually have a dead horse that is very beat up as well. I can't comment about that.

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Put'er there, pal. I'm an old software engineer myself, though not so old as yourself. I used punch cards in my first hands-on computer class in high school, circa 1978, but they were ancient even then. ;-) I started as a professional in 1988 - - VAX Macro Assembler FTW! Didn't get into Windows at home until the late 90s, when Win95 was just on its way out; I ran that for maybe a couple months then replaced it with 98 - - and not "for a living" until 2011 - - using tools that came out in 2002!

I remember early JPEG viewers-and-files, on several different platforms, that didn't get along, but I only ever saw an application crash, never the whole OS.

Sounds like I'll start with offloading all the photos and videos (device and SD card) to a thumbdrive, probably via laptop and USB cable, deleting them all (and their folders) from the phone and card, maybe running that rescan app, then reformatting the SD card and putting a subset of pics back onto it to see what Gallery makes of things. Then go from there. Either way, you'll hear from me here, eventually...

I've never been entirely clear on the whole "signing into Chrome" thing. Lately I've come to believe it's sloppy language for "navigate to any Google service webpage and log into Google," - - and then the browser-held login cookie authorizes Sync to do its thing. Am I close?

Questions arise:

1) I have two Google accounts; is there a way to log into both at the same time, in a subject instance of Chrome? Just logging Google in two separate Windows/tabs would seem to be either impossible or insufficient. The phones Gmail app seems able to do it.

2) Is it sufficient to log into the phone's Gmail app? All Google stuff being under a single login, as I assume? perhaps not, though dash dash I find that the phone wants to keep track of my Google accounts in one place, which may or may not be part of Gmail, and that the play store then requires me to login independently. There's no rhyme or reason to it (which apps, services, etc. share a single login, and which ones need to be logged into independently) and I never know if I am fully logged in, and whatever sense that concept might mean anything. (It's like trying to get WiFi calling to work, spending an hour at it, and at last discovering that GPS has to be turned on. "Who'd'a' thunk?" So there's got to be some little tiny piece somewhere, that everybody else automatically knows how to do, but which I am overlooking and don't know enough about to mention or inquire.

2) Based on the answer to (1), assuming I can get logged in on the same account in Chrome on my laptop and phone, what exactly should happen? Are the two instances supposed to notice that, "Hey, we've never synced before, let's exchange everything we've got, retroactive to the beginning of Time," or is it, "We agree to send each other every bookmark created from now on," only?

Also, is it possible that my laptop could be running too old a version of Chrome to sync with this phone? It's an XP laptop (yeah, yeah, but behind tons of firewalls), and Chrome "no longer receives updates on [that] platform.". eyeroll See, I'm pretty sure I've logged into the same Google account on both devices at the same time, before, and *nothing" has happened.

Open tabs remain a problem. I leave open things I want to remember to come back to, then often it's years before I get back to them. And I accumulate them at a furious rate, at least three or four a day usually, abd often more. I have no idea how many are open, because the little "how many are open" indicator stops counting at 99 and turns into ":D" and there doesn't seem any other way to display an actual count, e.g. through a magic chrome: URL.

Too, there seems to be a point beyond which Chrome either closes the oldest tab when you open a new one, or crashes and, when restarted, proves to have dropped the oldest tab or tabs and opened a replica of the newest. Usually this will happen five or six times in a row so that I get five or six copies of what was newest when the first crash occurred. if not for these self-limiting failure modes, there would probably be eight or ten thousand tabs open by now.

Bookmarks are more for stuff I "might want to refer to someday in the distant future", which happens even less frequently than getting back to an open tab. (In Windows-laptop Firefox, which tends to eat too much memory, or get stuck chewing CPU in scripts, or something, and grind to a halt and need to be killed and restarted, I often at least try to create a folder called e.g "Things that were open 11-1-17" and do a "Bookmark All Tabs" into it, before killing FF, just to be absolutely certain I can still get back to where I left off, after the kill and restart, if the built-in open tab preservation feature fails, as it sometimes does.

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Put'er there, pal. I'm an old software engineer myself, though not so old as yourself. I used punch cards in my first hands-on computer class in high school, circa 1978, but they were ancient even then. ;-) I started as a professional in 1988 - - VAX Macro Assembler FTW! Didn't get into Windows at home until the late 90s, when Win95 was just on its way out; I ran that for maybe a couple months then replaced it with 98 - - and not "for a living" until 2011 - - using tools that came out in 2002!

I remember early JPEG viewers-and-files, on several different platforms, that didn't get along, but I only ever saw an application crash, never the whole OS.

Sounds like I'll start with offloading all the photos and videos (device and SD card) to a thumbdrive, probably via laptop and USB cable, deleting them all (and their folders) from the phone and card, maybe running that rescan app, then reformatting the SD card and putting a subset of pics back onto it to see what Gallery makes of things. Then go from there. Either way, you'll hear from me here, eventually...

I've never been entirely clear on the whole "signing into Chrome" thing. Lately I've come to believe it's sloppy language for "navigate to any Google service webpage and log into Google," - - and then the browser-held login cookie authorizes Sync to do its thing. Am I close?

Questions arise:

1) I have two Google accounts; is there a way to log into both at the same time, in a single instance of Chrome? Just logging into Google in two separate windows/tabs would seem to be either impossible or insufficient. The phone's Gmail app seems able to do it.

2) Is it sufficient to log into the phone's Gmail app? All Google stuff being under a single login, as it might be? Perhaps not, though - - I find that the phone wants to keep track of my Google accounts in one place, which may or may not be part of Gmail, and that the play store then requires me to login independently. There's no rhyme or reason to it (which apps, services, etc. share a single login, and which ones need to be logged into independently) and I never know if I am fully logged in, and in whatever sense that concept might even mean anything. (It's like trying to get "WiFi calling" (phone calls over WiFi instead of cellular radio) to work, spending an hour at it, and at last discovering that GPS has to be turned on. "Who'd'a' thunk?" So there's got to be some little tiny piece somewhere, that everybody else knows to do, but I don't, and I don't know enough about to mention it or inquire about it.

2) Based on the answer to (1), assuming I can get logged in on the same account in Chrome on my laptop and phone, what exactly should happen? Are the two instances supposed to notice that, "Hey, we've never synced before, let's exchange everything we've got, retroactive to the beginning of Time," or is it, "We agree to send each other every bookmark created from now on," only?

3) Is it possible that my laptop could be running too old a version of Chrome to sync with this phone? It's an XP laptop (yeah, yeah, but behind tons of firewalls), and Chrome "no longer receives updates on [that] platform." eyeroll See, I'm pretty sure I've logged into the same Google account on both devices at the same time, before, and *nothing" has happened.

Open tabs remain a problem. I leave open things I want to remember to come back to, then often it's years before I get back to them. And I accumulate them at a furious rate, at least three or four a day usually, often more. I have no idea how many are open, because the little "# tabs open" indicator only guess up to 99 and thereafter turns into ":D", and there doesn't seem to be any other way to display an actual count, e.g. through a magic "chrome://" URL.

Too, there seems to be a point beyond which Chrome either closes the oldest tab when you open a new one, or crashes and, when restarted, proves to have closed the oldest tab or tabs and opened a replica of the newest. Usually this will happen five or six times in a row so that I get five or six copies of what was newest when the first crash occurred. if not for these self-limiting failure modes, there would probably be eight or ten thousand tabs open by now.

Bookmarks are more for stuff I "might want to refer to someday in the distant future", which happens even less frequently than getting back to an open tab. (In Windows-laptop Firefox, which tends to eat too much memory, or get stuck chewing CPU in scripts, or something, and grind to a halt and need to be killed and restarted, I often at least try to create a folder called e.g "Things that were open 11-1-17" and do a "Bookmark All Tabs" into it, before killing FF, just to be absolutely certain I can still get back to where I left off, after the kill and restart, if the built-in open tab preservation feature fails, as it sometimes does.

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  1. About login to Google accounts. Chrome only uses the one you choose. This is detailed on the web so I must be short except to clear up something like this. So when I log in with Chrome, it syncs with the other Chrome's I've logged in with.
    Side note. Chrome the browser is actually an OS wrapped in a browser. Press Shift+Esc to see it.

  2. Is it sufficient to log into the phone's Gmail app? No. That only is part of the process to get sync to work.

  3. (the second #2 in your reply.) As it's your system and I don't know how you run your gear, I can't tell you what happens. I do know folk that dispise the Apple, Google and Microsoft ecosystems and in doing so unintentional break what's neat about them. If you don't use these sync systems you have to develop your own methods.

  4. XP. Sorry but I can't answer. We moved the office, home and lab off that long ago. I do know that our Linux, ChromeBooks, Windows and Apple machine sync Chrome just fine. XP? Sorry, can't test, don't know.

  5. OPEN TABS as a means to organize. This seems fraught with peril and blackness. I suggest you think about saving that set instead.
    Example: https://lifehacker.com/save-sets-of-multiple-tabs-to-launch-later-in-the-bookm-1453967463
    Team that up with Chrome sync and a lot of the grief I think you are seeing goes away.

Edited by rproffitt: Numbers.

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