Sneaky blacklisting of WiFi in HP laptops?

I've been there before, but somehow I hoped that HP has come to its senses, so when my girlfriend got a HP Compaq 6715b laptop with a Broadcom wifi card that does not work with the open source driver and randomly crashes under load with ndiswrapper driver, I said - "well, I'll just get an Intel mini-PCIe wifi card and plug it in". I should have know better.

While there is no obvious impenetrable error message like on NX6110, the 6715b simply ignores any non-HP wireless cards. They do not show up in lspci and don't even appear in Vista. I have all the latest drivers and latest BIOS.

I will look a bit for a workaround, possibly along the same lines as before (make a non-HP wifi card look like a HP wifi card), but I really must say - despite all the support for Debian HP has on the server side, I will have to recommend everyone I know to never, ever buy any HP laptops! By having an easy access latch to the WiFi slot they seem to embrace user choice, but in the confines of their BIOS they just cut through the heart of it by only allowing their own cards to be installed and used.

Note: it is possible that the card itself is non-functional, but given the previous experience and some similar messages on the forums about all kinds of other HP laptops .. I wouldn't bet on that.

I would love to be proven wrong on this or shown a way to either make the non-HP IPW3945 card work or how to make the original Broadcom wifi card work in a stable manner. Currently it causes 4-8 hard lockups a day if the laptop is left acting as a bittorrent seed for a few thousand clients. Now i am just too tired to deal with this reasonably and should rather head for bed.