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Going to assume the LAN port doesn't have drivers installed. Is it a card, or onboard (built onto the motherboard)? We need either the card model info or the motherboard's make/model. From there we can track down the drivers that should fix your issue.
The hard drive contains all the necessary drivers that makes the computer function and that includes Internet connection. When you installed the operating system and all other software it does not mean you installed the driver for the motherboard which contains the drivers for the LAN.
Run the drivers CD that came with the motherboard. If you don't have the CD. contact the PC manufacturer for the driver CD. Otherwise, you can purchase an add on NIC(network interface card).
Either the LAN card is faulty or the LAN driver is not installed and/or not configured properly or the LAN cable is faulty.
Check Device Manager to see if the LAN driver is installed, working and enabled. If not then re-install the LAN card driver.
If the LAN driver won't install or detect the LAN card then it maybe faulty and needs to be replaced.
Try a different LAN cable.
Is all the LEDs on in the modem?
Try rebooting the modem (power it off for 30 secs and power it up again).
If you have formated all your drives you will have no official motherboard drivers for your pci bridge, sound driver, onboard lan or video, usb or agp slots, only the generic windows drivers which arent always reliable, so check you motherboard model and then go to the manufacturer web site and download the correct drivers.
All the work you have done was unnecassry unfortunately, unless it gave you major system faults, the fault may have been motherboard drivers, i also recommend removing the pci card and before installing the board drivers and using a different pci slot.