Compaq v6205 w/built in wlan (broadcom). slider switch on front never changes from orange, device driver doesn't list it.
Already flashed bios, reinstalled driver - it doesn't exist.
I removed card, started vista, shutdown, installed card, started vista. No messages, no wlan.
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As this is an older model, the drivers may not be compatible to Vista. If none of them are working, either try to install Windows 7 (with 7 i had the WLAN already installed with windows on a travelmate 5520) or revert to windows XP, for which one of the drivers I gave you works for sure.
First rule-of-thumb, don't trust windows updates for drivers. With that being said, you should find out what the chipset of that Atheros card really is. Download a program called Unknown Devices, by Halfdone. Install the program and run it. It will tell you the actual chipset. Then google search that chipset with the words "xp driver" after it. You should also look at the list and see what the bluetooth type is in you laptop. Usually it will be either a Toshiba bluetooth stack, Widcomm, or Microsoft. Then google that with "xp" after it to find the driver for the bluetooth. Install the software and driver and you should be all set. Let me know if you need more help. And if this fixed your issue please make sure to leave comments. Thanks.
Sounds like the device driver to the wireless card is corrupt. Click on start>right click on My Computer>Properties>Hardware tab then Device manager. Click on the "+" sign next to your wireless Network adapter. Then right-click on your network adapter, click on Update driver. The system will automatically look for the new driver and download it. If there is no new driver then go to the manufactureres website. All of the drivers are there. Find your computer and download the driver.
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I beleive you have explained the concern well except for the OS that you use. We have to understand that WLAN is a windows feature. You can try for command prompt by using commands in the netsh wlan context for Windows Vista if you use one and this will help. Else contact.
First do right click on you my computer icon and choose properties ->hardware->device manager->network adapters and expand it, see your broadcom wireless is there or not, if not obtain a diver file for your model from HP support site and run it so that your wireless adapter will start working and enable the wireless on and see its working.
From your description I agree, its probably a damaged switch. I never recommend anyone taking apart a laptop unless they are a mechanical whiz, have experience with laptop disassembly or can afford to break it beyond using.
As far as turning the built-in wireless card on without the switch there might be a way. I don?t have a Compaq laptop to experiment with, however, my Dell Latitude BIOS settings has a setting to automatically turn on the wireless card at boot-up. Perhaps yours does too, during your laptops initial boot process get into your BIOS setup menu (press F2 or if that doesn?t work F10 keys). Look for an option relating to your built-in devices or wireless device. My Dell setting is fairly ovious: "Turn on wireless device". If you find a simliar option turn it on, reboot and look for the wireless adaptor.
Another option may be to buy an inexpensive UPS wireless adaptor. You can pick them up on Ebay for around $30, not as spiffy as the built-in but probably a lot cheaper than paying a repair shop to fix a three year old laptop.