I have a small tip for you that may work. If I was about to reinstall Windows XP or Vista from scratch, before I did, while I was still online, I would go to the Web site of the manufacturer of my built-in Broadcom Gigabit network hardware, and download the drivers to my hard drive. Then, from there, I would copy the driver files to either a USB Flash memory key or just burn them onto a recordable CD or DVD. This is exactly what I have done, prior to reinstalling Windows Vista Home Premium. The network drivers for my Dell XPS 720 home tower PC (and a whole load of other drivers besides) have been copied onto a DVD+RW. This means I have all drivers to hand!
In your case, you are setting up the network hardware from a brand new PC (after you have installed Windows.) I take it the machine has Windows XP Home or Pro on it at the moment? You could be in a Catch-22 situation here! However, Vista may have the drivers for your network hardware already inside the operating system (I know Vista has a lot more built-in drivers than XP had.) Failing that, then the only way would be to use a second PC that is already online to the Web to download the drivers that way. Then put them on a USB Flash memory key or DVD+RW (if you have the correct DVD drive on the other PC) and then try to install them on the laptop.
If you could tell me the exact make and model of your network hardware (you should find this information in your laptop PC manual somewhere), I could try to find it on the Web for you, if you like.
Sorry I could not be of any more help, but I am very new to Vista and have never even installed it before, so I don't know what to expect when I do come to reinstall it!
Please let me know if you found this advice helpful!
Alastair C Parker.