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Call a console (once a console, always a console!)
Check the following:
>ifconfig (should show that eth0 is up, has an IP and a netmask.)
if it is down, type
>ifconfig eth <your desired and UNIQUE IP> up
Next check this
>route (it should show you two thins: The default loopback route and the route to your network. My guess is that there is no route to your network.)
If there is only a loopback address add the route to your network by typing
>route add -net <the target network IP including subnetmask (192.168.1.0 for all hosts 192.168.1.1-192.168.0.255)>
This should add the route to your network.
By the way, check the kernel messeges for a detailed explanations why eth0 fails and what that means exactly (not detected on bus? not responding? network unreachable? host unreachable? eth0 not fed last evening? ethernet cards on strike? Does the union of eth0 labour know about this? eth0 on holidays - will come back later? You know, what does "fail" mean...)
do one thing.
unplug yr NIC from yr system. Then start and shutdown yr system once to remove older network configs
plug in yr NIC again. Now while trying to configure it using "netconfig" it should prompt with the make/modules.....note down that modules. You may need to load that module.
Lets see first whether u reach upto this or not.......then we will see rest ( as i have to leave now )
ruudra, just an idea:
If the kernel lacked the module, the ethernet card would have no instance in the kernels device tables, thus there would be no eth0 to fail!
You have a point though, there might be the wrong driver behind this problem. shueib, a model number of your ethernet card, model etc... Then, given that everything else we proposed failed, post the outpu of a "lsmod" command along with the model identifiers of your ethernet card.