windows 7 server data sharing issues

I have a customer who are having occasional network issues.
Excel docs & Accounts apps (sage) are freezing & users are losing work!
all pc's are windows 7 & the server is windows 7.
It's a peer to peer network.
They use accounts software & & excel docs etc & all the data is stored on the server.
It's occasionally freezing & losing connection to the server etc.
When i ping the server from a client eg 192.168.2.1 & use the continuous /t it occasionally gives a "request timed out"
approx 1 in 40 pings. I think this is a clue!
I have tried disabling the firewall (both public & private) on the server. No change!
I also disabled the AVG av on the server. No change!
I chenged the ip address of the server several times. No change!
I have shared the data folders & given everyone "full control"
Have tried unsharing & re sharing.
I have run Western Digital diagnostics on the server & the hard drive is fine.
I have replaced the switch & cabled 1 of the pc's directly into the switch to exclude any faulty wiring.
Can someone help please!!
crangle22Asked:
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ktaczalaCommented:
anyone running a fan or heater near their workstation? Any new re-arranging of the offices/workstations, or server room?  Check for clean power at the office, recommend all pc's be on ups's especially if office is in older building. How is the humidity in the office?  Static can cause similar issues.
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
have you done anything with the network interface on the system itself?
maybe try upgrading the driver (if there is a newer one) or buying a additional nic and try connecting with that
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crangle22Author Commented:
The network card drivers are bang up to date.  I haven't tried another network card yet.
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Ramakrishna PrabhuNetwork EngineerCommented:
Do you have this problem on all the user machines or one or two?

Can you tell us about your network setup? Are you using a managed switch or un managed?

How is the connectivity between server and user desktops?
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crangle22Author Commented:
have the problem with all the pc's.
there are only 4 pc's on the network & 1 server. all windows 7.
i had a bog standard netgear 8 port switch which i replaced with another 8 port.
in case the switch was faulty even though it worked perfect for 5 years.
there are points in the 4 rooms & the cabling is patched to a rack in the server room.
i tried connecting 1 user pc directly to the switch but he had the same issues.
i'm going to have to replace the server next!
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Ramakrishna PrabhuNetwork EngineerCommented:
One RTO out of 40 shouldnt be a problem.

Can you try loading a interface monitoring software on the server and see the amount of traffic which is passing through?

Also try enabling wireshark on server and switch at the same time post the captures here.

The other thing what you can do is, try pinging one of the desktop from other one and see if you get the same result.
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crangle22Author Commented:
i had installed this & monitored for the last few days & it didnt give any clues!
http://www.paessler.com/prtg
will try wireshark later.
i tryed pinging from workstation 1 to 2 & 2 to 3 as a test & dropped maybe 1 in 50-100 packets.
ie that blasted "request timed out"!
i'm going to setup a "test" server to see if that makes any difference.
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crangle22Author Commented:
sorry for the delay.
nothing  to do with heat or fans or drivers etc.
I replaced all the switches & wireless access points & then there were no ping dropouts.
so it's all working fine now!
just a dodgy piece of hardware
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