So, a while back I started noticing the amber light on my laptop that indicated the wireless card was either unavailable, turned off, or simply disconnected. This happened after I already installed Windows 7. During the Win 7 installation, the drivers were active and functioning perfectly, and even onto the OS when it installed. After a while, I started noticing the wireless becoming more and more inaccessible. Now, I'm at the point where I don't have any wireless anymore. The notification LED is amber. What I did when I first started noticing it, was buy a replacement card. The chipset is a Broadcom 4311.
The only things I can verify about my use with this product, is that I didn't take the card out before it started malfunctioning, so it cannot be any form of ESD. I DID frequently use this laptop for wireless pentesting, though I never messed with the transmit and frequency settings under iwconfig or aircrack. So this surely couldn't be a physical issue.
I have noticed a couple of strange things happen. When I boot a moderately new live CD of linux, such as ubuntu or even the old live cd I have of Knoppix, the wireless sometimes works. I tested it out when I tried to reproduce the problem, it kept strong signal, didn't disconnect until I shut the laptop off.
What could this be? Should I take the card out, clean the connector and the socket? Should I try reseating the RAM? It isn't life or death that this laptop has wireless, but I'd like to use it for pentesting again.
Since you bought a replacement, have you tried installing it and seeing how it functions? Maybe heat over time has caused your WLS to fail. I had that problem with my Dell 1525, the WLS just got more and more unreliable, but I changed it out before it failed, so my boat is a little different than yours.