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I've just installed 11.10 on an old Lenvo Laptop. All the way through the install process the wireless light was lit. As soon as I reboot the light goes out. In network the section to aircraft mode is set to on so I turn this off. I turn on wireless and the indicator light comes on for a second, and then it turns its self off again.

Name:              Lenovo 3000 V200
Processor:         Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 2GHz
Screen:            12.1” WXGA
RAM:               2GB
HDD:               120GB
Optical Drive:     DVD+-RW,2Layer
Graphics:          Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 965
Network:           10/100 Ethernet, Intel 4965 802.11agn Wireless, Bluetooth
Other:             3 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire
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I had the same issue it was because of some confusion with the acer_wmi interface

rfkill list
    1: acer-wireless: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: yes
    Hard blocked: no
    2: phy0: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: no
    Hard blocked: no
    3: hci0: Bluetooth
    Soft blocked: yes
    Hard blocked: no

you can blacklist acer_wmi and your wireless will work fine

rmmod acer-wmi
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I would check the state of the device with 'rfkill'.

rfkill list 

To unblock a 'Soft blocked' device, do

rfkill unblock wifi

My solution with a Lenovo laptop and a 'Hard blocked' bluetooth device, was to reset the BIOS to its defaults.

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