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you may be suffering from mixed Cat 5 and Cat 6 cabling. The wiring is slightly different and they don't work well when mixed in routers and modems etc. One or the other will work , but when they're mixed it'll do what you have going on here...
I would recommend wiring everything with cat 6 ethernet cabling. Look on your cable and you will find the labeling on the outer casing.
The DM11P is designed to only connect one computer at a time. To have both connected at the same time would require a router. The router would plug into the modem (DM11P) and then your desktop and laptop would plug into the router. If your laptop or desktop can support wireless then you could get a router that also supports wireless.
Netgear make these routers as well as many other companies and they are inexpensive.
Check the socket in either the router or the PC. I had the same problem, only with my modem. When I inspected the port, the pins were misaligned, causing it to drop a connection. I corrected mine with a screwdriver, which is not ideal but it works.
I may be able to help with this...but I need a detailed description of how you have things connected between the XP desktop, the cable, modem, the Linksys router, and the laptop. Also, is the Linksys router new?
Typically, the wan port on the wireless router connects directly to the cable modem with a cat5 network cable....then the desktop pc connects to the router...on port 1 for example...with a similar cable. Once the wireless router is set up properly, the laptop should then be able to connect using wireless.