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The problem has been solved! I'll share the fix in case this happens to someone else.
I design locally in a Windows environment with DesktopServer (from serverpress.com, which I'll plug right away for their amazing customer support!) They resolved two problems for me this week in no time, along with super quick response. (I am a premium customer.)
Following is their suggestion, which worked!
It appears that on select Windows systems, a file can become corrupt and inject an additional carriage return which may be causing an issue. This issue can easily be fixed, here is how:
1) Open the file at c:\xampplite\php\prepend.php in your favorite text editor, i.e. Notepad.
2) Delete the entire contents of this file; please ensure that there are no carriage returns or any characters in this file and save it.
3) Use DesktopServer's first option to "Stop or restart...", followed by the "Restart..." option. Please uncheck all checkboxes if you are not using these features (i.e. "Enable Dreamweaver...", "Enable Trace..").
I continued my online search in various forums in hope of finding a resolution to this issue, and was stunned to find several WP users with the same problem, dating back to 2009 in earlier versions of WP as well as newer ones. There's quite a bit of frustration out there because of this issue and many responses, but none offering a fix.
There's a beta version of WP just released, and I'm tempted to download it in a desperate attempt to solve this issue. Would I be wasting my time?
Also, many people have mentioned changing permissions to 755 on wp-content/uploads folder as a possible solution, but I can't see anywhere to access permissions.
Thank you for your help, Mayur.
Can you recommend a WP developer?
Nope. Darn, I hate taking up so much of your time, and I really appreciate your help.
Yesterday, I changed the site URL in the WP - General Settings page and lost all site access until I went into the phpmyadmin file (via Desktopserver, which is what I use for development sites) and changed the URL back to the original one in the Options file.
What I don't know is whether the "Add Media" link was already broken. I'm not a pro... the only reason I knew to go into the database files is because Desktopserver Support guided me through it.
No change. Still thinking that it's the Photo Gallery plug-in that's the culprit, I installed it in another site, and it didn't affect the media library. I'm now trying to retrace my steps to figure out what could have had an impact.
I added some php codes (from the studiopress site) to the function.php file to tweak the design. Could that have an impact?
I deactivated all my plug-ins, one by one, and that didn't make a difference either. When I click the "Add Media" button in the Page/Post, it still calls up an empty Library.
??? I need to go live with this site tomorrow and I am at my wits' end.