|Have you, or is it possible someone else who had access to this computer...|
- dropped it, or dropped anything on it, or otherwise exposed it to a physical jolt ?
- spilled liquid on it, or sprayed it with liquid, or exposed it to liquid such as rain ?
Since the computer last worked properly all the time, has there been a power failure event that happened while the AC adapter was plugged in ?
Those things are the most frequent reasons something inside the laptop has been damaged.
Laptop keyboards are relatively fragile.
It is very common for some of the keys to not work reliably, or to not work at all, after the laptop has been used a lot, or at any time if liquid has been spilled on it.
If you connect a corded USB keyboard, you'll probably find that works fine.
Laptop keyboards are a frequently replaced item, and if your model is reasonably recent there are lots of new relatively inexpensive clone keyboards you can buy on the web.
E.g. Search for Toshiba (model name) (model number) keyboard
e.g. (model name) - Satellite
See your Service or Maintenance manual for your model series for how to remove and replace the keyboard.
NOTE that there is nearly always more than one possible keyboard (and keyboard layout) for your model depending on where in the world your Toshiba laptop was sold. You must get the right one, if you want it to be the same as the one you have now. The part number for the keyboard is often on a stuck on label on the underside of the keyboard. If you use that when you're searching the web, you're sure to find the correct keyboard, the same as the one you have.
E.g. Search for: (keyboard part number) keyboard
Or - if the ad's description says the picture is of the actual keyboard, closely examine the picture of the keyboard and make sure the layout of the keys and what is printed on the keys is the SAME as on the keyboard you have now.
In the meantime......
- you can do most things with a corded USB keyboard, but it doesn't have the special purpose keys laptop keyboards have, such as Fn, or the special purpose buttons laptop keyboards may have.
If you must type a password to logon to your user while booting, if some of the keys you need to type no longer work on your built in keyboard, then a corded USB keyboard will work for that.
You can also use a wireless keyboard for most things, but you may need to use a second keyboard while booting the computer before the support has loaded in Windows for the wireless keyboard, the first time the wireless keyboard's USB transmitter / receiver has been connected.
- there is a virtual keyboard built into XP. You can use a USB mouse or touchpad mouse with it to type,
- if the keys to start it up on your keyboard still work
Start - Run - type: osk (click on OK, or press Enter)
osk = On Screen Keyboard.
- or - go to C:\Windows\System32 and double click on osk.exe
- or - go to C:\Windows\System32 ,
RIGHT click on osk.exe, choose Send to - Desktop (create shortcut)
....to create a shortcut to it on your main desktop screen.
With your mouse cursor blinking at wherever you want to type, use the OSK to type there.