[ubuntu] establish wired network connection

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http://ubuntuforums.org – I tried to install a recent kernal update that got hung up and wouldn't finish so I aborted the update. After that I could no longer use $sudo modprobe b43 to initiate my wireless connection. My strategy is to establish a wired connection, make sure all updates could be installed, and then try to establish the wireless connection again. However, I cannot establish a wired connection. I cannot type in any information into the Add wired network connection in Network Connections: the boxes are gray and will not allow editing. Help?! Total beginner, so thanks for your patience. 12.04, Dell (Hardware)