From the Diablo II front screen click on the Battle.net (2nd button down). When you click on this button your game will try to connect to one of the servers on the internet. [Note: your internet connection must be on for this to work.]
While your game is trying to connect to the internet servers, you can follow the progress through several popup windows.
This is the Account Login Screen. Enter your Account Name and Password. If you do not know your account name and password....
This screen illustrates a brand new account with no characters. Later when you have existing characters on the account, you would see the names and status of each character here.
Click on "Create New Character." This will take you to the Select Hero Class screen.
Beginning, brand new players, noobs like those folks that need this type of tutorial, should select Barbarian. It is a simple, bang enemies on the head type of character. [Actually there are many complex aspects to the Barbarian. However, it can be played in a simple mode with few complications. So use Barbarian.]
This screen illustrates what happens when you click on the barbarian graphic. A box to enter character name opens up.
In this case we are entering a name we know is in use. In the next screen you will see the error message.
"A character named "blah blah" already exists in the Realm."
If you see this message, that means one of the other million or more players has also thought of the name you are requesting. Try another.
This is the character join/create screen. If you get to this screen, that means your character name request was granted and you now have a character by that name.
Now you need to "perm" the character. That means you need to put two hours of play time on that character within the next 10 days or it will be lost.