Drupal and .htaccess


I just downloaded both the drupal database (MySQL 5.5) and the drupal directory-tree from the production server to my private testing system so as to have a situation where both systems are identical to all intents and purposes. In both cases the software base is Debian 8, Mysql 5.5, Apache 2.4, PHP 5.6, and Drupal 7.54. On the production system everything runs just fine.

I have been using the functions of Drupal for banning certain IP-addresses (bots and the like), as well as the “deny” parameter in .htaccess on the production system. Being in a shared host situation, I unfortunately have no access to firewalls.

Now I experience the following situation on the testing system:
I can select my “homepage” (e.g. http://example.com/) from the browsers (Firefox, Vivaldi, Chrome) without any problem. However, trying to select any pages UNDER “home” through the menu (superfish), the browser doesn’t present the requested page, but comes back either with a “404 Not Found”message or with a message that would allow me to download a file (i.e. the Drupal bootstrap routine):

define(‘DRUPAL_ROOT’, getcwd());
require_once DRUPAL_ROOT . ‘/includes/bootstrap.inc’;
It seems to me that the presence or absence of an .htaccess file makes a difference. Any hints?
H. Stoellinger

Drupal version: 

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