Your install was obviously messed up and incomplete. Simple solution: re-install, making careful notes of everything that happens, everything you are asked to do and type, all the options you are presented with and so on. If you are a newie, this will be very valible. When i first began with Linux, I had to re-install my Manrake 8.2 several times before i got it. Sadly, Mandrake installation is not the most intuitive. It is still rough around the edges, is quirky and sometimes decided to work just because it feels like it. From what I am seeing of 9.2, it has gotten even worse. For example I had to re fix a lot of the installation such as simple right mouse clicks from within the control panels. Ridicilous of you ask me.
I will wait untill 10 matures and goes into 10.2 before I even think of trying it.
About your other problem, were the Cds rejected, or never asked for? Maybe you got a bad set.
Yes A Linux-Mandrake install is NOT a Microsoft install. Linux has a steep learning curve and a lot of setting up to do. The queastion here is are you willing to spend some serious time with it? Would you concider the time wasted ir not?