I have recently installed Ubuntu 10.04LTS -Lucid Lynx on a dell Inspiron 1018 that came with windows 7 Starter.However my wifi is not working, I found the rfkill list command and on inputting I got the message dell wifi-soft blocked NO, Hardblocked Yes,notable is the fact that although I can see the bluetooth logo on the task bar i can also see that bluetooth also says blocked
Had a similar problem with an Inspiron 1018, where wireless stopped working. What fixed it for me was to boot into Windows and re-enable wireless (F2 button) from there. Discovered later that it could be also re-enabled from the BIOS by doing a factory reset there, in case you've removed W7 altogether. Just making sure the BIOS claimed wireless was on was not enough.
i had the same problem after installing ubuntu 11.10 on my hp touchsmart. anyway all you have to do is to connect you laptop to internet using ethernet cable, when connected to internet: go to system settings>additional drivers then select ur wireless adaptor and click activate, wait till it downloads and installs the driver software then restart ur machine and u're good to go. it worked for me i hope it works for u too.