Pre r1408 NG Mandrake Control Center issues. MDK2006 (& perhaps other rev's) appear to not manage the new NG code well, especially for installations with two or more network interfaces or prior installations of madwifi. The Mandrake Control Center scripts will re-set values in several important files after Network Interfaces are inspected, added, deleted, or discovered with the Mandrake Control Center. You may have to go back and re-fix /etc/modprobe.conf, /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-athx, and /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-wifix according to the rules and suggestions laid out below.
Also note: /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/wireless.d/*, files if they exist, will override an ifcfg-athx file. Be _sure_ to check for the presence of that file and repair it as you would the ifcfg-athx files.