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I sucessfully managed to configure my modem using the control center in KDE. It was a simple task of choosing the 'Cable Modem' option, and then selecting my Motorola SB4200 SURFboard Cable modem from the list. Everything seemed to work fine.
However. Once my system had been rebooted, I noticed that my Internet connection was no longer working. I tried reconfiguring the connection via the Control Center, but alas - it was no longer working.
I removed the connection, and went to reinstall it again. The only problem this time is that my modem is no longer being recognised and shown in the list. I only get the option 'Manual'. So, I try the manual option and select the correct module - (CDCEther) - but nothing happens. A window pops up and closes before I can possibly read it, and I am sent back to the select a module/driver page of the Control Center.
The strange thing is - when I go to the Hardware section, the modem is shown under the Ethernet category. Yet when I try to configure it - it isn't recognized.
I happen to have the exact same cable modem on my desk. My modem has an USB and an ethernet port. If your modem is the same and your computer has an onboard Network connector I strongly suggest getting an ethernet cable and connect through that.
Even so, your problem really sounds weird. But since I don't use Mandrake, I can't comment on it.