Ok here's the poop
freshly reinstalled xp today on newish amd athy xp 2500 system. on my own LAN which runs off of a Linksys BEFSR 741 router and a hub combo, the thing was able to go onto the internet and even get to the downloads folder in my main machine, even with the sp2 firewall enabled on my machine.
took the machine off the LAN here to bring it back to customer, but the damn thing will NOT get a new IP addy from the comtrend DSL modem over there. I wasted like 2 hours fscking around on it, and got disgusted and brought it home, where, upon plugging it back into my LAN, it promptly connected and merrily surfed the net.
Anyway the local ISP here has these comtrend adsl modems, and use a crossover cable to connect to the ethernet adapter on the computer, with a modular telephone patch cable to the phone jack. nothing else has changed except this xp sp2.
What I get is 'Local Area Connection - Limited or no connectivity' and the thing is unable to renew the IP address.
I googled around and one person mentioned unchecking 'notify if problems..' and that seemed to be the beginning...at least now the connection shows as connected, but I still cant get the pppoe software to confirm user id and password.
BTW I do have the new xp firewall temporarily disabled, just in case.
I solved this in the end by uninstalling the pppoe conneciton manager software/deleting the connection for manager. I then uninstalled SP2/rebooted. Then I installed the connection software under xpsp1. This worked (I may have run command/ipconfig /release tho im not sure...have violated the rules in the other thread about working past midnight and working pissed off and working tired...but I nailed the bitch, so there!) Anyway once functionality was confirmed, I then proceded to reinstall SP2, which then behaved normally.
The symptom treated here was because I was doing a ground-up install of windows on the system. Normally in my install process I do the windows install, then all patches and service packs, then drivers, then programs. I normally leave individual connection manager programs to do on-site at clients site, because here everythings DHCP'd off my router/lan setup. In the case of SP2, however, it appears SP2 wants to see a 'working system' before it does it's thing.
Hopefully this helps someone out, and saves them the anguish I've had to go through tonight.
May the Force be with you all!