My HP M6-1184ca laptop recently had a problem where my wifi was disconnected and turned off, and I couldn't figure out how to turn it back on. In the network connection panel, it was showing "Wi-Fi (Off)".
The HP wifi on/off indicator was showing amber (off), and pressing the FN-F12 combination wasn't turning it back on. Toggling Windows 8 airplane mode on and off also failed to fix the problem, as did running Windows troubleshooting on the internet connection and network adapter. All drivers were up to date.
The solution was to go to the Windows 8 Charms menu, choose Settings, then pick Change PC Settings at the bottom. Within the Windows 8 PC Settings app (*not* Control Panel) I was able to select Wireless, and saw three toggles: Airplane Mode, Wi-fi, and Bluetooth. Airplane Mode was turned off, but Wi-Fi was also turned off. Toggling Wi-Fi back on in the PC Settings app fixed the problem.
I'm not sure how this would have become toggled to off... if I discover a way it may be inadvertently toggled off by mistake, I'll update this article.