I removed the LAN card several times to clean it and it's slot, replacing the two antenna connectors which were all I saw.
There is some reason that the HP Wireless Asst. must be disabled before uninstalling to get wireless to work with Windows 7. I wonder if it does something to the LAN card since it couldn't adjust the OS on a clean reinstall.
The final two problems on the laptop are solved now and it's running better than any new Windows 7 PC, a month after it was rescued from the trash to do the processor pasting project.
The touchpad ribbon cable which lost its clamp during disassembly required taping the clamp in place wedged down by the keyboard using a plastic piece from a dental flosser stick. I used electrical tape to do this. I believe it's the pressure from the keypad above on the clamp enabled by the extra plastic piece on top that's causing touchpad ribbon contacts to finally engage.
There is no available steel mounting clamp for the HD which hardware was missing, so I taped it in place with heavy duty electrical tape as good as can be. I wanted to wedge something in to keep it from coming loose eventually, but was concerned it would block air from getting around the HD.
Computer type PC/Desktop System Manufacturer/Model Number Self built system OS Windows 7 Ultimate x64 CPU CORE i5 Motherboard Intel DH55PJ Memory 4GB Graphics Card ATI HD 4650 Sound Card Realtek HD Integrated Monitor(s) Displays LG Flatron L1742S; LG Flatron 19"; Toshiba 32" Screen Resolution 1280 x 1024; 1366 x 768
Keyboard Logitech Wireless Mouse Logitech Wireless PSU Power Case Simbadda Cooling Conventional Hard Drives Seagate Barracuda 500 GB
WDC 1 TB Internet Speed 256Kbps Other Info External HDD Transcend 500GB
Dial Up Modem Huawei
Home-made Home Theater
Laptop ASUS K42F, Core i3, 4GB memory, 320GB HDD.
LAptop Fujitsu LH531, Core i3, 4GB Memory, 500 GB HDD, Nvidia VGA