WacoJohn - 5:11 am on Jan 20, 2012 (gmt 0)
I am guessing the OP went over to Mint. I am new to this forum, but thought I would make this comment for the benefit of whoever. I hope as a new member I am not speaking too soon:
At least in the case of Ubuntu (if not all distros), one needs to start the installation with an Ethernet connection to your router or device in order to access the Internet. THEN, you can obtain the drivers etc you need for your WIFI access. Once all the WIFI requirements are met, then you can abandon the Ethernet wired connection.
Ubuntu (at least) does not autodetect your Wifi adapter, so you need 'Net access (via Ethernet cable) to obtain the appropriate packages for your adapter. They are usually found via Synaptics Package Manager or you can go to a support forum for help in obtaining the right packages. The point is you must have access to the 'NET and that is done (initially) via Ethernet cable.