Just did a new fresh install and everything worked fine as usual.
Then went to change permalinks to my default:
Which I do ALL the time.
As soon as I clicked Save Options, the screen went into "no CSS" mode. That is: I got the Permalinks Options page, but with generic styling, none of the WP Dashboard look.
Then went to the blog and got a 500 error.
So I knew that the .htaccess file was probably the problem. Permissions? Fine. WP was able to write the file with no problem.
So I uploaded the default .htaccess file and reloaded. Still 500 error.
So I uploaded a BLANK .htaccess file. Blog homepage fine but got 404 errors for all other pages (which had apparently correct urls: /postname/. Dashboard fine. Clicked on Permalinks and immediately went back to the NO CSS mode. And the blog no longer worked.
I've searched the Forum as fully as I can.
a. How to fix this?
b. Why is permalink-options.php re-writing .htaccess when I open page? I'd expect it to re-write it when I click "save options".
SQL for options table:
INSERT INTO 'chichi_options' VALUES (31, 0, 'permalink_structure', '/%postname%/', 'yes');
Thanks in advance!