I had this kill switch problem with the ipw2200 driver on my Dell laptop. The kill switch is hardware so no software can change it.
Searching the net I found:
- Doing 'echo > 0 rf_kill', doesn't work.
- I read that I should boot in Windows turn the wireless card off and then boot linux.
- Use a software, which doesn't work!
But here is what I found accidently...
Pressing Fn + F2 is suppose to turn the wireless card on/off but it wouldn't work on linux. I set conky to tail dmesg every minutes and I got an error message saying to use setkeycodes e008. To stop the annoyance I put setkeycodes e008 172 in my rc.local and just like that the wireless kill switch works. Pressing Fn + F2 change /sys/bus/pci/drivers/ipw2200/*/rf_kill to 0 or 2.
I don't know why but I have a few guesses. What is important now is that the wireless card works, Fn + F2 works and I'm a happy camper
ipw2200 driver from kernel 2.6.17
firmware v3.0 from ipw2200.sourceforge.net