I'm a bit of a noob, but I do know a few things.
After I've installed Mandrake 10, the network device doesn't start; it gives me a loopback. If I use Knoppix 3.4 on the same machine, Knoppix recognizes the network. I'm not running that machine right now, but if you want the output from ifconfig, let me know. I want to convert from my Windows box over to my Mandrake box (tried FC1, didn't really like it as much as Mandrake), and I'd like to do so as soon as possible, before I get too much time/files in my post-reformat Windows box (which I'll keep for gaming).