For the record, I am using Mint 8 Helena, I am not using mint4win, I have not manually installed any drivers nor am I using any third party repositories. All updates and applications have been installed via MintUpdate.
I am using an HP Laptop, DV6768SE, and for the last couple weeks the name of the MAC address for the on-board Ethernet adapter changes after every restart. The controller is working well and I am not experiencing any issues while using the on-board Ethernet controller. I was made aware of this behavior by noticing that the name of the wired Ethernet controller was incrementing up on digit after every restart. At the time of this message I am up to eth35, as far as I can tell the number (00:06.0), whatever that means, is constant.
I am currently using the internal Atheros AR5001 Wireless Adapter which is not experiencing the same issue of changing MAC Addresses. I mention the wireless to aid in any advice and to explain why the code below is not showing any packet statistics.
I believe the issue started around March 22nd, reviewing my update history there were 14 updates installed on that date.
thunderbird Ver. 220.127.116.11......
samba-common-bin Ver. 2:3.4.0-3ubuntu5.5
smbclient Ver. 2:3.4.0-3ubuntu5.5
samba Ver. 2:3.4.0-3ubuntu5.5
samba-common Ver. 2:3.4.0-3ubuntu5.5
libsmbclient Ver. 2:3.4.0-3ubuntu5.5
mozilla-thunderbird Ver. 18.104.22.168......
libwbclient0 (2:3.4.0-3ubuntu5.5), and 6 kernel updates:
linux-image-generic Ver. 2.6.31-20.33
linux-generic Ver. 2.6.31-20.33
linux-image-2.6.31-20-generic Ver. 2.6.31-20.58
linux-headers-2.6.31-20 Ver. 2.6.31-20.58
linux-headers-generic Ver. 2.6.31-20.33
linux-headers-2.6.31-20-generic Ver. 2.6.31-20.58
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00:06.0 Ethernet controller : nVidia Corporation MCP65 Ethernet [10de:0450] (rev a3)
Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device [103c:30cf]
Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx-
Status: Cap+ 66MHz+ UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 0 (250ns min, 5000ns max)
Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 20
Region 0: Memory at f2487000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
Region 1: I/O ports at 30e0 [size=8]
Capabilities:  Power Management version 2
Flags: PMEClk- DSI- D1+ D2+ AuxCurrent=0mA PME(D0+,D1+,D2+,D3hot+,D3cold+)
Status: D0 PME-Enable+ DSel=0 DScale=0 PME-
Kernel driver in use: forcedeth
Kernel modules: forcedeth
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bigben@8151-C2T ~ $ ifconfig
eth35 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:00:6c:30:5f:63
UP BROADCAST MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
RX bytes:0 (0.0 B) TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)
Interrupt:20 Base address:0x2000
Thank You in advance!