Here are more questions (sorry)
1. What error message if any do you get?
2. If you don't get an error message, can you hit ALT F2 to get an alternate terminal?
3. What kind of Network Interface Card (NIC) are you using and is it supported by Linux? See http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/hardware.php3
I am a NEWBIE too, so take these suggestions with a huge grain of salt. I'm not that familiar with Mandrake so try these alternatives. Can you skip the network configuration (by switching to text or install mode). If you can bypass and get to a command prompt, you can try linuxconf. its a console utility that might work for you. If that is not available in your distro, try vi (http://amath.colorado.edu/computing/vi/
) to edit
/etc/config.modules. If you don't see that file, try finding a directory like /etc/rc.d/rc.modules, and uncomment the appropriate line for your NIC by removing the pound (#) sign at the beginning of the line. You may or may not have to pass some configuration information here such as the IO port and/or IRQ of the NIC.
Hope this helps.