Slow Network file transfer

I have a home network of three puters.  The network works fine as far as all puters seeing each other and pinging in any direction works fine.   I'm using linksys nic cards in all machines and win98se on all machines as well.  I'm using tcp/ip protocol. I'm also using wingate as my internet connection sharing proxy server.   I want to continue using it over ICS. The network used to be very fast as far as transferring files from one computer to the other in any direction but now has gotton turtle slow. A simple 3meg file can take five minutes to copy from one puter to the other.    I have no problem with the internet part of this.  Without the Wingate engine active the files still transfer slow. Key note is that it used to work very fast and fine so I have eliminated hardware but I can be wrong.  My cables are all less than 75 foot in length.  Can someone help me figure out whats going on?
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mikecrIT Architect/Technology Delivery ManagerCommented:
Are you hooked into a hub or a switch?
JAYRUAuthor Commented:

I'm using a 5 port hub.
Why would you eliminate the hardware if it originally worked well and now is working much slower?  Hardware would be the first thing I would look at.  What OS are you running?  Some windows workstations have a local network monitor built in to monitor the local NIC.  It might help you detect if one of your NIC's is broadcasting garbage.  
Try turning off (that means powered off)one computer and transferring between the other two.  Do the same to each computer to see if it is a single device causing the problem.  If you find that one machine seems to be causing the problem, move it to a cable/port where the others work fine.  This will eliminate either the computer or the cable that is attached.  
You can eliminate the hub by either building a cross-over cable or trying a new hub.  This isn't real easy to do in a home situation since it involves out-of-pocket expense, but you need to eliminate the problem.  
What is the state of the disk drives?  Are they full, or terribly fragmented?  These things can cause significant response issues, although they wouldn't be limited to just transferring files.  
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JAYRUAuthor Commented:
I said I eliminated hardware but could be wrong.  I was thinking that a bad nic or hub would not get slow.  I figured it either worked or didn't.  I assumed it was network settings or protocol problems.  Bad assumption I guess.  The operating systems are in my posted question. I will test the power off of each machine like you suggested and post results tonight.  I think I have done this already with no change but will do it to make sure.  Disk drives are not fragmented and many gigs of storage left on all drives.
Sorry, I missed the win98se!!  :-(
Those aren't bad assumptions, you should check and recheck your configuration.  Did this problem just begin one day, or did it slow down over time?  Did you introduce something and then notice the problem?  
JAYRUAuthor Commented:
The only thing that I can think of that is different from when it was working correctly was one of the OS's was win95 and I changed it to win98se.  I dont remember it being a problem at that time and may have been a gradual slow down.  I know it was not a one day it was fast and the next day turtle slow.
mikecrIT Architect/Technology Delivery ManagerCommented:
Did you happen to install any software that "speeds up" your internet connection?
JAYRUAuthor Commented:
I did when I had dialup and used MTUspeed but since have DSL. Network was working fine after the MTU thing tho.

I did isolate the problem to one machine. Machine B and C are fast but A is slow to send to B and C.  Seems A will recieve from B and C fast tho.  What is this telling me now?
hmm, I just replaced a NIC that went bad on my machine.  It would surf the internet just fine, but file transfers would take 10 to 15 minutes. (for 600 meg files)
I put a new nic in my PDC and the 600 meg file transfers now take 2 to 3 minutes.  Fortunately, I have a sniffer running and was able to detect the bad nic right away.
Bad nics can do weird things, buy a $15 (USD) nic and replace the nic on "A".  Personally I like any "Realtek" based nic (Realtek, D-Link, etc.)
Yep, sounds like the NIC is giving you transmission error problems.  

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mikecrIT Architect/Technology Delivery ManagerCommented:
You may be having a prolem negotiating with the hub. I would try setting the speed and duplex to 100 and half duplex and see what happens. If you want to get better performance however I would recommend purchasing a switch which will allow you 100Mbit full duplex transmissions.
Do you use only TCP/IP in your network?
Verify the binding order if another protocol is installed.
How much time ago was the last restart?
Do you clean the history folder of your explorer or navigator?
Verify the virtual memory.
This could help you.
JAYRUAuthor Commented:
Thanks for you help.  Isolating the problem to one pc helped and I did swap some nics around and it seems to be okay.  I know someone else said something about it could be a bad nic but finding out which machine  was the answser............Thanks to you and all that participated
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