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tc1100 wi-fi hardware switch: a pain in the hat under linux

A while ago I decided to fix something under my HP tc1100 hood. I had bad idea: I loaded the default  BIOS settings. Turning the tablet on I had a bad surprise: the wi-fi card was hardware disabled. Unfortunately the tc1100 has an ipw2100 card but no physical hardware switch and without a windows partition I was stuck with the wifi off. I previously had the same problem with a Toshiba nb200, but there I had more luck. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if a linux only system is good in a “Windows only” world.
Disclaimer: following the steps outlined here may brick damage or otherwise set on fire your tc1100 and/or your neighborhood. Please follow them or reproduce them on your tc1100 only if you are willing to damage it, brick it, and set the house on fire. Seriously, this is tricky stuff. I suggest you to avoid flashing the bios if everything is working. If you have to, fully charge the battery and use an external UPS to power the TC1100 just in case. Internet is full of bricked tc1100s. When in doubt, use a real Windows for the flash operation.
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