thanks for getting back!
i did try wpdb in advanced settings, but the browser just keeps loading & then stops & I don't get any kind of notification or message. just the wp admin area with nothing in the body of the page.
I tried checking "use wpdb" & "backup db only" in advanced settings & that gave me the following error.
Fatal error: Out of memory (allocated 48234496) (tried to allocate 40 bytes) in .../wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1545
i've used wp clone on another hosting platform w/ a different site & it worked great. guessing this has something to do with the hosting / server (1&1 business).
advanced settings show the following
Memory limit: 256M
Maximum execution time: 300 seconds
I also tried setting the memory & execution time to lower number than shown above & I still get the out of memory error.
thanks so much for your help!