I think the folks out there need a bit more information from you before they can even imagine what your problem is, beyond understanding that you have an unspecific problem.
The brief answer is NO, mostly things just work.
So what's your setup. You mention having installed Hardy Heron on an Acer AM1610 with a Vista desktop. Hmmmm, How is this?
Installed is a very specific word and if you really mean it, then either you have a dual boot Acer now or no longer have Vista. More probably you are referring to having booted from a Hardy Heron iso cd, but having not been rash enough to hit the install icon?
Having established a degree of imprecision in your request, I have to explore this a little further. You say that your modem connects, but that there is no handshaking. How do you know this to be the case? Can I assume that you are referring to a cable or ADSL modem that Vista was happily using previously, and that connection is via the RJ-45 ethernet port. Any router or hardware firewall in the chain.? I am assuming an uncomplicated domestic scene (computer electronics wise).
Normally, my experience, is that the system is already connected to the router/modem/internet and the system is booted from the live disk. It does everything normally and detects what it needs. Entering the google url, for example, into the browser just works.
The better picture that you can draw of your particular situation the more chance that you will get a pertinent answer. I suspect that the reason it's taken so long is that no one wishes to remove your zero reply status. which gives you extra visibility, with the obvious unhelpful answer "NO". To try and consider all the permutation would be like trying to paint all the petals on a cherry tree. It quickly bursts into blossom making the task unrewarding, impossible and at best a bit random.
Welcome to the forum, please help the helpers by thinking through what they might need to know about what you are doing and have in your setup. Good luck and enjoy HH.