I'm a network admin (with some IIS background, but never touched DNN before) who recently was asked to move a DNN 6.2 installation to a new server. (The old server was an ancient 2003 box that was starting to have hardware issues - the new one is a brand new 2012 R2 server, and I've set up SQL 2008 Express on it.) I backed up the site files, backed up the database, restored on the new server, set the connection string and had to tinker a little with application pools before the site came up and we were able to log into it.
I moved on to other projects, but lately they've dragged me back to try to troubleshoot issues with the site. The site is sometimes normal, sometimes slow, and very occasionally will not load at all (though I think it's just timing out), seemingly at random. When users log in to edit the site the various tools are also randomly slow. Inserting an image or document is essentially impossible, with the image/file manager tools almost always timing out when opened, or on the occasions when they do open usually the first time the user clicks into a subfolder it stalls and times out.
My first thought was that maybe running an upgrade might relink or clean up or fix settings on the new server. As I dug deeper into the upgrade documentation I began getting uncomfortable with trying this without more general knowledge of the DNN product and backed off to do more basic research and look for a little assistance.
One thing that's really got me puzzled is that there's a large (6 GB or so) SQL database file in the \dnn\app_data (or something that looks like that, sorry) folder, and when I was trying to make a backup copy of the folders ahead of the upgrade, Windows told me that the SQL server process had it locked open. Problem is, that's not the database which I restored onto this server - it's the wrong size and in the wrong location. And it doesn't show up in SQL Management Studio at all. I looked back on the old server, thinking maybe I'd pulled the wrong database across, but no - the database visible in SQL manager is the one in the SQL folders, but there's still a large MDF in the DNN folder. Does DNN somehow use this SQL database without actually attaching it to the SQL server instance? Or have things gotten colossally messed up on both the original server and my new server?
So I'm looking for some guidance - ideas for how to move forward with troubleshooting this specific situation of course, but also some more-basic reference material for the making DNN work right. I've downloaded and browsed through the 6.2 and 7 manuals in the last day, but these seem to be oriented mostly towards the how-to-build-sites set of knowledge rather than how-to-make-it-work-right. Even the install and upgrade guides I've found so far seem to be just a couple of paragraphs of copying DNN into place and making a SQL database.
Thank you for your time and (hopefully) help.