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I'm trying to give an old laptop (HP Pavilion tx 2000z) to my nephew before he leaves Canada to UK tomorrow(!), but the hardware wireless toggle button is broken. The button simply feels like it's missing a spring.

Ubuntu does not show any Wifi hardware (should be a Broadcom). Any tips to look into it, maybe from the command line? The Broadcom Ethernet does work.

I also installed Broadcom's proprietary driver: bcmwl-kernel-source without any effect.


~$ rfkill list all
0: hp-bluetooth: Bluetooth
    Soft blocked: yes
    Hard blocked: yes

~$ sudo lshw -class network
PCI (sysfs)

Thanks a lot!

share|improve this question
what does rfkill list all and sudo lshw -class network output? Please copy and paste the output into your question. – fossfreedom Dec 31 '11 at 0:17
It's not a spring, it's just rubber if you have spare remote control you can even cut a piece of the buttons and paste it into the the wifi button. – Uri Herrera Dec 31 '11 at 0:26
i would open that thing and try to shortcircuit it... but thats just me, i like to break stuff. ;) – Baarn Dec 31 '11 at 0:31
@fossfreedom I ran the commands – Louis Puzzles Dec 31 '11 at 1:28
up vote 3 down vote accepted

rfkill list all shows that your wireless card is not shown. This is probably as a result of either switching off via the BIOS, or more likely, the broken physical switch is in the off position meaning no operating system will see the wireless device.

I'm afraid, no software will help you here - you'll need to find a way of by-passing the hardware switch, which may be as simple as:

  1. checking if the wireless card with disabled in the BIOS
  2. finding another "spring" and "button" off a third party computer spares, or even (more dramatically)
  3. getting the soldering iron out and ensuring the wireless contact is made permanently on.
share|improve this answer
what about activating it in bios? – Alvar Dec 31 '11 at 11:00
yeh you are correct - I alluded to it initially... but didnt give it as a suggestion. Have now changed. thanks. – fossfreedom Dec 31 '11 at 11:03
All right so BIOS has no options (at all!). I did something stupid, I glued it in position, thinking it was an on/off switch. Now I realize that moving the switch to the right was triggering the "on" and then a spring would move the button back to the left. Doing this again triggers the off state and again "on" and again "off"... In the process, one screw lost it's head. I need to reopen that machine but I have no more time. Thanks! – Louis Puzzles Dec 31 '11 at 18:56

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