Before converting, it is sometimes recommended to Save As compacted copy (smaller).
Creating a Clone of the databases is also an option.
Also before converting, running Recover on a copy of the database to verify no errors can be useful.
These are articles about converting.
Check your file references (File > Manage > External Data Sources). In all likelihood, you have defunct references to servers / files that no longer exist and FileMaker is trying to find them. Remove the old references and things should speed up.
We experienced something similar wen I converted version 9 from version 6. Our problem was that the the "new" feature "External Data Sources" was not set very well. If you look at File/Manage/External Data Sources.
Ours converted to:
Account details: file:Account this gave us terrible performance.
Account details:fmnet:/10.1.90.1/Account (where out internal server's ip address is 10.1.90.1)
Editing all of the external data sources in each db fixed the performance. My guess is that the "file:" version searched our entire network for the file at each reference.
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I would recommend against using hard-coded IP addresses. It breaks if your network team assigns a new IP address to a server, or if you have to move the databases to a different server. Should you need to address a specific server, I'd recommend using a DNS name instead.
file:databaseName should be the fastest if the databases are on the same server. I'm curious to know if your experience was related, perhaps, to other file references being present? Or perhaps the files being referenced weren't on that server?