Unfortunately, when I got the notebook the problems were much worse than I expected. At startup, under most conditions the cursor won't move to select the login id. After several efforts, I did have a couple of times when the cursor would move to select an id, but then the keyboard wouldn't allow me to type a password. I could hit a lot of keys repeatedly and eventually some letters would be typed in the password block, but of course these were just random characters.
I tried to boot up into safe mode, but the keyboard didn't work reliably there either. Initially, it ignored key presses. I found that by pushing all of the F keys randomly I did get to the correct screen. When I was able to get the correct screen, I couldn't scroll up to select safe mode. Again, the keyboard didn't work at all.
I thought the next thing to try would be booting up from the xp disc, but was not able to get into the BIOS to change boot location. I finally removed the hard drive and was able to get to the BIOS screen, but once again the keyboard buttons wouldn't allow me to scroll to the correct setting.
I have been able to log into the "guest" user name (w/o administrator privileges) during one of my many efforts, and in that account the keyboard mostly seems to work OK.
It seems like this is a malware problem, but I'm at a complete loss how to proceed. We have no problem losing everything stored on the computer, but I can't even get to the point of doing that. Any advice on what to try?