Support for Ethernet cards is often provided by a loadable driver-module, of which there seem to be many dozen in a typical "distro." If your (original) system is up, you can figure out which one is actually used via lsmod
. There's a very good chance that it's a single driver called tulip.
What you need to do, then, is to include that driver in your kernel. I prefer to have all
device-drivers that are actually needed by my system, right in my kernel, and to omit all of the rest so that loadable kernel-modules are needed for any step of routine system operation .. certainly not for startup.
Failing that, you'll need to make sure that the proper module is
loaded, perhaps by surfing the dmesg
command-output. That mechanism has changed considerably from 2.4 to 2.6. (And perhaps that's the biggest reason why I chose to avoid it entirely.)
Yeah, it might take a little bit of recompiling ... maybe a lot
(not too likely) ... but hey, that's why you're here
and not over there,