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After getting into the Linux bug, my father decided he would like to have a crack at it as well.
Anyway last night he installed it with no problems the internet was working everything appeared to be okay. This morning when he tried to use it the net had stopped working and it keeps asking to configure some unknown hardware.
Could see nothing obvious as to why it was failing. Decided to try and re-install it. I watched this install and everything went through fine. Sound, internet everything.
Anyway following a reboot (with no changes) it started prompting for the soundcard (Audigy) and the USB controllers and one unknown peice of hardware.
Did as it asked and it carried on. However ETH0 failed to load, therefore no internet. For some reason it is dropping out. Having investigated
I noticed that ETH0 is in there when we first install linux at no 5. Following the reboot it is replaced with USB stuff and totally disappears.
Any ideas on how I can get started or find out where it is going wrong.
You mention two problems (networking fails and undetected USB devices during installation). You need to try to separate these issues instead of assuming that they are related.
You don't mention what USB devices you have connected. I would start by disconnecting all of the USB devices. You might also check to see if you can disable USB in the BIOS settings, and whether that helps with the networking issue.
Look at what lspci -v (or /proc/pci) says about the connected PCI devices after the fresh install when the networking is functional, and compare it to what lspci -v (or /proc/pci) says is connected after networking fails.