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IF you do NOT have DSL, "but I do not have DSL" (sic) then you must connect up to the internet, via a MODEM, the phone line connects to the Modem, the MODEM connects to the PC via Ethernet cable. Then you use the Connect to internet Wizard. You will need to enter your login and password, for your ISP, so you will be able to access the internet. You also must enter the ISP's PHONE Number to Dial up, FIRST, then you must enter your login, and password. Then you will connect up to your ISP, and be able to go onto the internet through them. That's it, really.
From a computer that has internet access, download the appropriate ethernet driver for your network card from the link above. As for the recovery disk, you'll have to contact Gateway for a replacement disk.
Plug an ethernet cable in and it should use DHCP (autoconfigure) to hook up if you have a broadband service... If you have Wifi then it depends on what Operating System you use ie Windows XP, Vista, Linux, OS X but it should scan for networks in the area and connect to which ever one you would like to use. Also if you have a dialup ISP you will need to plug the laptop modem to a phone line and dial out that way... The easiest way is to run the disc that your ISP gives you after everything is setup like in the directions.