I don't think the cable will make much difference, unless you have mistakenly used a cross over cable. But then you would not normally have one of those unless you actually went looking for one sometime in the past.
The other thing with Linux is that it seems you can issue a command to turn your network port off or on. So it's possible your network settings and everything is right but your port is shutdown. Just something to watch out for. I'm not a Linux guru though, I spend all of my time in Windows with the oddbit of Vmware thrown in!