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Did you ping 127.0.0.1 to test the computers own basic network setup?
Did you do a yum update and the network driver was updated?
Did you check service network status?
You could also update to at least 5.7 for better network support.
It seldom happens, but network cards do die. This usually happens out of the blue with no forewarning. The only way to tell is to put the card into another computer and/or to replace the existing card. Good thing is, they are really not expensive.
you will have to open up your network connections click start control panel network connections this may vary depending on your operating system look for local area connection if you see a red X or a yellow exclamation or question mark ! ? you will need to update or install the driver or it could be firewalled click start control panel administration tools computer management device manager scroll to network adapters should see a yellow question mark? right click install drivers the driver might be on the disc supplied by your ISP internet service provider or the motherboard disc or you might download one if you dont have on a disk http://download.cnet.com/dm9601-usb-to-fast/3000-2112_4-72413.html hope it helps
Vista does not provide downward compatibilty to hardware, rather it expects new certified drivers. Since your device is 801.11b it is obsolete (I know, still faster than cable internet). That's why the manufacturer is not supplying new Vista certified drivers. So Vista creates an UNKNOWN DEVICE that will not be able to function for anything at all. USB networking is the worst. Think about getting a non-USB access point that will provide you an RJ45 jack for your built-in NIC.