I then decided to reboot to Windows after several years of not going there. HP wireless assistant tells that its disabled as that the gsm sim is accessible and suggest to close or put the battery back. I put the battery back, HP wireless assistant changes status to still disabled but now suggest to fix via Device Manager. No luck, Device Manager can't find drivers, etc. So did not want to spend it running on Windows and maybe putting the battery back is enough to get it running on Linux again.
Reboot to linux, network manager picks it up. Nothing to setup aside from APN, etc. No driver install, etc. Just put the battery back. Hopefully this post saves someone a few hours diagnosing the problem. Just put the battery back and linux should see the hs2300 3G modem.