I had failed to overlook the fact that the port on the motherboard is a LAN port rather than a straight-up ethernet port. I understand that LAN and Internet connections are different, however they both accept RJ-45 cable.
A LAN port IS an ethernet port.
Are you sure win 7 didn't ask you to install network drivers, not router drivers? The network drivers should be on the CD/DVD that came with your motherboard.