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When I plug in the ethernet, 'connection 1' shows under connections, and when I click it, it tries to connect for a while then says 'connection 1: Disconnected'.

My best guess is that I need to install some kind of driver, but I can't without internet. I'm on a Dell Inspiron 1501, using Ubuntu 12.04. BTW, it worked with an older version of the operating system.

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I think, you don't need to install driver. The connection link there means, the driver is activated already. I guess, it is more like a cable problem or network problem. Check your cable and/or contact your network provider.

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My other computer connects fine on that cable. –  Connor O'Hara Sep 3 '12 at 22:39
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