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Then go to the DOS prompt and enter: ping -n 50 xx.xx.xx.xx)
The pings to your first hop should normally be under 30ms with an occasional ping in the 60-70ms range. Disregard the first ping. If you see high pings or a high spike and are running Win9x/ME hold down Ctrl/Alt/Del and "End Task" on all programs except for Explorer and Systray. Then try the ping to your first hop again. If they look normal now that usually indicates it is a program running in the background that is causing the problem. Reboot and try disabling programs loading at start up to find the one causing the problem.
If the pings remain high or high spikes after closing all programs except Explorer and Systray, then you can eliminate the possibility of a background program as a cause.