Listen to the hard drive - with the visual Toshiba BIOS (HSW/AMD-present), No OS and failed hard drive conditions load the BIOS as the fallback. 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/detected (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. When these laptops were new, many of them had an issue with the original HD within 1.5-2 years consistently. At this point, many of these Toshiba laptops with these Toshiba laptops with original HDs are dying in droves with the same POST errors - mainly “no POST”, “No boot device”, or going to BIOS as they age, or it died for the original owner and was purchased used that way by someone who wants to repair it. Yes, I could easily score a unit with top end specs and fix it with an NVMe SSD and a 256GB scratch SSD, but I do not buy Toshiba/Dynabook new OR used out of principle.
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 the newer SupportAssist UEFI machines if the drive is bad (but in some cases like my 7490, still shows the no boot device message with no drive installed, or if you use Dell Data Wipe). 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.