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In System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications I have nm-applet --sm-disable Ticked.

I don't know why its not showing up after boot.

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possibly related to – Martijn Feb 13 '11 at 14:54

I had to right click the top bar, choose Add to panel and add the Notification area

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Try opening a terminal and type

killall nm-applet
nm-applet &

If that still doesn't work, post the results of doing this into your question.

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