Cannot connect to the internet.

I was given a desktop computer and was told that it would not connect to the internet anymore - Staples could not even get it connected.
I just figured they were trying to use the ethernet port, so I tried to hook up a wireless box through the USB port, but it still does not connect - I do not get any errors, it just stops trying.
It is a Dell desktop, Windows XP. I know the previous owner had it hooked to a modem into the ethernet port, but one day he was just unable to connect.
I can get around a computer, but do not know technical terms - so please dumb it down a little .. lol!
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  1. Best answer
    In device manager, look under the 'network cards' heading and see if the ethernet port is being recognised by the computer.

    It might be a good idea to download new drivers for your ethernet port from a different, computer, put the driver on a USB stick and install on the non-working one.

    Also how did you connect the USB wireless box/who makes it?
  2. Linkys makes the USB wireless adapter, and I have figured out my issue - G vs. N makes all the difference in the world! I was able to set our new router to pick up the G, which allowed the older computer to hook - so we just went and purchased an N wireless adapter for it.

    Thank you for your answer though! That would have been something to try if I hadn't already figured out the issue!
  3. Best answer selected by smiller2.
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