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I have just installed Mandrake Linux 9 on an older system of mine and everything went smooth, but I'm try to set up the linux box to work on my network so I can access the internet with it but it is just not working. I'm running an XP box on the same router but on the linux box the eth0 is always in the down status (I'm sure thats my problem). I checked the MandrakeLinux site and the network card..which is a realtek RTL-8139..and the site said I was known to work..yet it does not.
Also, my router shows that there is a connection so it is sending a signal to the router.
I just encountered this same kind (I think) of issue when I started playing with Mandrake's 9.1 release.
Check in yourBIOS and see if you have a setting for APCI. If so, disable it. It does something with the allocation of your PCI bus. I can run WinXP with it on, but when I boot to Linux, I have to go in and disable it.
I could not get either my onboard NIC (it's a Realtek as well) or a PCI NIC to work until I found out about that, even though in Windows they work just fine.
Hope this helps.