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XP usually will detect the cable/DSL modems on it's own but not always. Did your cable modem come with a setup disk? If so, run the install again. If it didn't, I would try shutting everything off first and turn on the modem first and let it initialize and then the laptop (while they're connected). If that doesn't work, look at your network properties and make sure TCP/IP is installed. These steps may sound vague but there could be a lot of different things causing the problem. Start with the basics.
 

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Why don't we try a loopback ping? Open the command window and type ping 127.0.0.1 If it returns the ping with no errors, the NIC card and drivers are functioning normally. That would eliminate one thing. Do you have a firewall running?
 

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You mentioned that you can unplug your cable from the laptop and plug it into a PC and the internet works fine. How ablout trying this. Plug the cable into the PC and do an ipconfig/all at the command prompt. Copy down the IP/subnet/gateway/dns that's shown. Go back to your laptop and enter those settings statically into your NIC card properties and see if the internet comes up.
 
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