Listen to the hard drive - with the visual Toshiba BIOS (HSW/AMD-present), the hard drive/OS issue fallback is to load the BIOS. It usually happens under 3 conditions:
- Drive failure (most common)
- No OS (boot file corruption, or the system was erased. More effective then “No boot device found” errors. This can indicate a secondhand unit erased by the previous owner too)
- No drive installed (Used laptop where the drive was pulled, or failed and the previous owner sold it with the bad drive installed)
The issue is Toshiba is known for having horribly unreliable mechanical hard drives. I’ve never tried their SSDs, but I wouldn’t touch them with a 100 foot Coronavirus ridden pole if the spinning hard drives are any indication of quality.
A lot of newer laptops - not just Toshiba have moved to the BIOS boot fallback, or run diagnostics automatically so it’s increasingly becoming expected behavior. If you have a AMI skin Toshiba, these still use the traditional POST messaging. Dell also does it on their newer machines if the drive is bad (but in some cases like my 7490, still shows the no boot device message with no drive installed). They did this because normal users do not understand no boot device means the drive needs to be checked for failure (or if it’s a corporate computer, let IT know it has a hard drive problem), so they moved to providing a visual indicator so the user can see something is wrong. This post shows how well using the BIOS as a fallback works to hint that something needs to be checked.