This is a problem not unique to Dell; I had a similar problem with an HP dv7.
However, so far I've seen no results that work for me on the internet, so I took the problem here.
My Dell has the wireless "switch" on the front, and it is actually a button, a button which does not work. Until today I had ignored the button, today I touched it, and now my wireless will not work. The Vista diagnose and repair feature tells me to enable the wireless using my wireless switch or button.
The button is flat and black, on the front of the laptop but a bit towards the underside, beneath the media player and volume buttons.
On both this laptop and the dv7 I mentioned before, there is some sort of phototransistor behind the button. The button is still in place. It cannot be pushed...it's in a static state. There is, in fact, nothing behind it inside its shell TO be pushed.
So, is it somehow a light-sensitive thing? Why would they make such a device? Will taping over the button with black electrician's tape do the trick by eliminating all light?