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Are you talking about direct-connecting via Ethernet to a cable or DSL modem? You shouldn't have to disable wireless to do that. If the cable modem has an open Ethernet port, you should be able to run a straight-thru Ethernet Cat-5 cable between that port and the Ethernet port on your laptop. The laptop should recognize that it is connected to the modem through the direct connection. Check the manual for the cable modem or information supplied by your ISP for connection details. You may have to do some setup on the modem to get an Internet connection, like having your ISP 'activate' the modem. Just be sure your Ethernet cable is a straight-thru, standard Ethernet cable, and not a 'cross-over' cable such as is used to transfer data between two computers.
If the ONLY light not illuminated is your PC link light then that generally indicates a physical disconnect between the modem and the laptop. If you can get the PC link light to light up when connecting to any other device (computer, router, anything), then you are most likely looking at the ethernet jack on the laptop being burnt out. Otherwise, try swapping the ethernet cord. If a different ethernet cord does not resolve the issue and the PC link light does not come on no matter what the modem is plugged into, you are looking at a faulty ethernet jack on the modem.
First try connection the Yellow ethernet cable from the rca modem to your computer's network connection. If you get a connection this way, then your modem will work with a ethernet cable. If not, then call Comcast for help. The modem ethernet out to computer port must be connected to the wan line of the router. Then you can connect an ethernet cable from your computer network connection to one of the 4 ports of the router. For wireless connections you must set up the router and wireless adaptor with the same settings to connect. Follow the routers directions.
FYI for those people trying to use a ethernet and usb cable from a cable modem - it may work for a while but it won't work forever - your ISP will only allow one IP address out of the modem unless you pay for additional addresses (then you need a switch). Each device you have on the modem is fighting for that IP and eventually it will just quit working (if it works at all).
If you want more than one computer on your network (on the Internet or sharing printers/files, etc) then you need a router or a gateway (cable modem/router combo which I DON'T recommend).