I turned on my computer today and the WiFi icon indicated it was turned off. I clicked it in order to open up the drop down menu from which I could turn on the WiFi. However, in place of all the typical options, there was a grayed out message, "WiFi: No Hardware Installed." This was hard to believe, since there was in fact a WiFi card installed only hours before.
I searched the internet and found two things: this problem was widespread (although more common on iMacs), and the solution is all about shut down options.
The Solution: when you open the shut down dialog, by pressing control + eject, there is a checkbox regarding whether the operating should return the computer to its state prior to shutdown. Unchecking that option and restarting solves the problem.
- Open the shut down dialog
- Uncheck the option
- Restart the computer
Voila! You're problem is solved. Reenabling that option after the problem is fixed will not necessarily bring back the problem, so feel free to re-enable it.