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You can try to use an Ubuntu 10.10 CD, and when you are done with the install you will have access to the web without needing any drivers. Then go to the web and download your XP drivers if you still need to. Would recommend you use Ubuntu as it is much better OS than XP and runs great on T60 very solid. Y.
Wow, a lot of information but I'm unclear as to what you are trying to do.
Are you connecting the T20 directly to the T40 using a cat5 cable and then trying to access the internet on the T20 via the modem?
Connecting the two computer together using a normal cat5 will not work, you need to use a crossover cable otherwise you are connecting the send to the send and the receive to the receive.
You can also use a hub, a switch or a router if you have any of those on hand.
As for the modem, I suggest you unplug the telephone line from the modem and plug it into a phone and see if you can hear a dial tone. If you cannot hear a tone either the extension is bad (replace) or you outlet is defective. If you can hear a tone, the modem card may be defective.