Is the table charset in mysql the same as it was on the old server? Same for your language charset. If you change things from the old setup you could have display issues.
As far as your photos they are GONE. meaning you deleted them. You had improper paths in global and storage options for your photos and tried to do a scan database rebuild thumbs because you thought you where missing photos but your path being wrong negated all the entries in the database. You would need to import a backup of the pp_photos table and this time make sure your paths are correct in admin