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Well this seems to be obviously a keyboard problem, that sort of things happens when the keyboard is extremely dirty or water or other liquids get to the keyboard circuits, there's no practical way to make it work as good as new since it's a laptop keyboard and it's all sealed, there are two options get the laptop to technical service or buy a compatible keyboard and follow this tutorial or this one.
If you have any other problem don't hesitate to ask.
The product key on the sticker under your laptop is probably the one for your computer's OPERATING SYSTEM, and not for the MS Office software package.
Check through all the documentation and books that came with your computer.
There is probably another very similar product key sticker in there stuck to the outside of one of the booklets, except that one is for the MS Office Software package. Use that key to activate it instead and then it should work.
Keyboard is defective for sure, almost like certain keys are shorted out or on some of the keys the tactiles are depressed and might be stuck.
With your laptop turned off. Run your fingers thru all of the keys on the keyboard from left to right from top to bottom and then repeat the same motin from bottom to top.
Then go ahead and turn on the laptop and see if it still does it. If it does then go ahead with the laptop off, take out the keybard physically, then reseat it back into its slot and boot up the laptop again, if it does the same thing, then the keyboard is bad and since the laptop is new and should be under warranty (1 year warranty on Dell) then they should be able to replace it under warranty.
If you replaced the keyboard with a Dell replacement 1501 keyboard and it still doesn’t work then yes the motherboard will probably have to be replaced. If your son spilled water on the laptop it could clear up after it completely dries. If it was juice, soft drink or sport drink the laptop could develop other issues. The syrup in these kinds of drinks don’t evaporate, they just remain there and accumulate foreign particles like dust, hair, dirt and eventually start to corrode electrical contacts like acid. Similar to the terminal posts on a car battery. Your responses are intended to improve the level of service provided. Please show your appreciation by rating your experience. Thank You.
How often? Can you make it happen on demand?
Acquire any other USB keyboard, and plug it into a USB port on your PowerBook. Use this keyboard for a while. If you don't see the problem, then I suspect some sort of short in your keyboard cable, or perhaps a spill in the keyboard itself.
PowerBook G4 keyboards are very easily replaced, without opening up the laptop itself.