And yes, I know that this thread is a bit stale. . . However, having run into the same issue recently using several different versions of DSL, I thought I'd toss in my two centavos.
Edit the boot command-line to remove the word "quiet", since "quiet" causes all the very interesting - and informative! - boot messages to be hidden. In cases like this where hardware may - or may not - be misbehaving, it is absolutely crucial to know what the system thinks about it at boot-time.
If you have, (for example), a 3-Com 3C589D PCMCIA card in a laptop slot on your system, and you get messages like "unrecognized PCMCIA device '3-Com 3C589D' " - then you know that messing around with the "net setup" won't get you far since this is telling you that the system has no clue what your network card is.
On the other hand, if you get messages that indicate that the system found
the card, recognized
it as a network card, successfully activated
it, and attempted to get it working
by "backgrounding" something like DHCP. . . . if your network still
doesn't work, then the net-setup page may well be your answer.
Important take-away: Especially in Linux, and double
-especially in micro-Linuxes like DSL, Boot Messages Are Your Friend!
In my case, the card would get recognized and activated, but I'd have no network connection, so I had to go to the Net Setup section and give it a boot up the arse with a #9 steel-tipped boot
by making sure that within Net Setup
the network was set to "DHCP" and not "Manual" (or "static") This is supposed to happen automagically, but often times it does not.
If your card, (or WiFi, or whatever), is NOT
recognized at boot time, you will need to spend some time on the Web researching it. Searching for whatever the text of the error message is, is often very helpful.
Hopefully this tiny addition will help someone else out there in Television Land who is banging their head against The Network Dragon. (And now you know why Network Admin's get the Big Bucks!)
What say ye?