How to analyze LAN slowdown

I manage a small LAN of about 30 users in my organization. We also have about 40 users who use Remote Desktop Connections to access an application on one of our servers from remote locations. We have a separate server for Exchange, and one for SQL Server which hosts the shared application. Over the past week or so, I have noticed, as have many of the LAN users, a definite slowdown in the response time of network operations, for things like accessing the Internet, as well as accessing local server files. People in remote locations have not reported any problems. Can you recommend a good utility to try to analyze where this slowdown is coming from, or some other tests I can run to try to isolate the problem? I'm not sure where to start with this, as nothing has changed lately that I can point to. Thanks.
Rohidas357Asked:
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Kamran ArshadConnect With a Mentor IT AssociateCommented:
Hi,

You can analyze your network using Industry standard protocol analyzer WireShark:

www.wireshark.org

In case you are not familiar with usage of wireshark:

wiki.wireshark.org
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kanlueCommented:
or you can try the 'ettercap', another good one:
"Ettercap is probably the best sniffer out there targeted for sniffing switched networks. "

http://ettercap.sourceforge.net/index.php

you can download the file for windows from the link below:
http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=17435

install it, connect to your LAN, then you can start to monitor and find out what's going on in your lan.

hope it helps.

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Rohidas357Author Commented:
Well, I was unable to figure out how to use these tools, not enough high-end experience with this sort of thing. But upon further investigation of the problems that users are having, I don't think this is necessarily a LAN performance issue.
What is happening is that I have mapped a network drive for users in our finance dept. to store documents, mostly Excel files. At first I thought they were saying that the documents were taking a long time to open, but actually it was the shared folder that was slow to open, taking maybe 20 seconds or so to open. Once they 2-click on the Excel file in the folder it opens quickly. I'm wondering if this is due to something incorrect in the way sharing is setup on these folders. I don't see any problem, but I may not be looking at it right.
Can I get some feedback on whether this could be the case, or any other advice on how to troubleshoot this? Thanks!
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Rohidas357Author Commented:
I never received an answer to my last post on this question. Would anyone care to take a shot at it? I still have not solved the problem with the slow opening of network folders. Thanks.
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Kamran ArshadIT AssociateCommented:
Did you read the wiki of wireshark and if you did what is the confusion?
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Rohidas357Author Commented:
It was not a matter of confusion, just that I do not have the LAN training that would enable me to make any sense out of the data that the Wireshark produces. It looks like a good tool, and I will work on learning more about LAN protocols, etc. For now though, it looks like the problem we were having was not in the LAN itself but in the setup on a couple of workstations.
I am going to accept the solution offered, and close the question.

Thanks.
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