Some older laptops w/ an ipw2200 wireless adapter have hardware buttons to enable or disable the wireless connection. This button does not work by default in a free operating system, resulting in a non-working wireless adapter.
A while ago, one could manually compile the acerhk.ko kernel module for 2.6 kernels to get around the issue, but since I want to use newer kernels, I had to take a different path to achieve connectivity:
- remove mini-pci wireless adapter
- identify PIN13 (which is PIN7 on the frontside)
- use tesa stripe or similar to isolate and disable the pin
Frontside View of mini-PCI adapter PINs: L g R | | a | | | | | |x| <-- diz is it! 1 p 2 3 4 5 6 7
Afterwards, the adapter will no longer be disabled, because the kill switch will naturally be turned off if the PIN is not connected (you can verify this by using rfkill list)