Network bandwidth problems. Serious Lag caused by bad network segement.

having problems with network bandwith.  My internet connection is DSL and clocks in around 1300kbps on most days, except sometimes it bogs down to about 15kbps.  I work at a school with 32 computers connected: about 20 use an ethernet cable to connect to the network and about 10 are using wireless.  The network topology is a daisy chain and When I disconnect one portion of the network by unplugging the cable to a switch (dlink) everything runs fast again. I've replaced the switch with a new one but the problem returns eventually.  I've checked the comptuers connected on the network segement that's bad and nothing out of the ordinary seems to be causing the lag (i.e. no peer to peer networking software, or video streaming is happening).  Is there a network monitor that can track the source of the problem?  Or are there any basic tests that can be done while its happening to track down the source.  Is it a bad network device, or a computer issue.  All the comptuers have WindowsXP except one has Windows Vista.
educateur370Asked:
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giltjrCommented:
If you are truly capturing all of the traffic, then you can select statstics, then conversations.  Then select the IP tab.

This should show you all of the IP converstations.,  ipaddress:port to ipaddress:port, and the number of packets/bytes sent received on the converation.
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Kamran ArshadIT AssociateCommented:
Hi,

You can use Wireshark. It is the best tool avaible.

www.wireshark.org

Check out Broadcast messages by doing a scan of the infected network. Also try to implement a managed layer-2 switch.
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educateur370Author Commented:
Can you recommend a good "managed layer-2 switch"?
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educateur370Author Commented:
I've downloaded wireshark.  I have started capturing packets.  However, I have no idea what I should be looking for.  What filters should I run?  How do I use this to determine where my "high traffic" is orginating from?  

This utilitity looks very robust.  I am looking forward to using it as much as possible.  But right now it looks very overwhelming.
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Kamran ArshadIT AssociateCommented:
Hi,

You can use the following sites to get used to Wireshark:

1-www.wiresharktraining.com/
2- wiki.wireshark.org/

Cisco produces good Layer-2 switches. There Catalyst Switches are ranked good. But you can checkout other vendors also.
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educateur370Author Commented:
Unfortuately the only thing they offer at www.wiresharktraining.com are $300 courses, which I don't really have time to take.  I was hoping for some basic tips on what to look for, not an extensive training session (at least not right away).  Thanks for the link thought.  I would like to learn about it at some point.   however, right now I still have a bad network segiment that is slowing everyone down.  Any suggestions on how to use wireshark to pinpoint my problem?
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