Get Talk-Talk internet working in Mandriva

Q As a complete newcomer to Linux, I find the whole idea of open source software and the independence it offers appealing. However I seem to have fallen at the first hurdle. Having installed Mandriva Powerpack 2008 as the sole operating system on my old Packard Bell desktop, which used to run XP Pro with no problem, I am unable to set up an internet connection. We have a wireless setup, courtesy of Talk-Talk, which happily handles one desktop, a laptop and a Wii. When I insert the disc to load up the software on the Linux machine it recognises the disc but I can find no way of loading it. Am I missing something obvious, or do I need to import another program to help with the setup?

A That CD is for Windows only, and it's not even needed there. Such CDs just set up the modem to log on and sometimes install branded versions of software such as Internet Explorer. All configuration can be done via a browser, but you need to use a wired connection for this. Many wireless routers only enable configuration changes via the wired connection, otherwise anyone who could connect to your network wirelessly could make changes. Ensure your wired network is set to use DHCP to obtain an address automatically - you do this in the network section of the Mandriva Control Centre.

Plug in the cable, load up Firefox and type http://192.168.1.1 in the address bar. This will get you to the router's administration page, where you will be asked for a login and password - the default is 'admin' for both, but you should have changed this by now. Provided the router is already connecting to the internet, there is no further action needed here, and you should now be able to access the internet using the wired connection. Wireless setup is slightly more complicated, but it would appear that you already have the router correctly configured as it works with your other systems.

There are two possibilities here - one is that you haven't set up the encryption system, which is done from the Network & Internet section of the Mandriva Control Centre. The other is that the drivers for your wireless adaptor are not included by default and need to be installed separately. Unfortunately, you have not included any information about your hardware. The output from lshw would have identified your hardware and the drivers you may need to install for it - very straightforward.

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