So, I have an old Toshiba Satellite laptop (intel processor, 8gb ram, dedicated and on-board graphics, 1tb/4gb HDD/SSD combo drive) that I was trying to install Linux on. It had windows 10 on it and it's been slow for a while now. First I burnt a basic Debian CD and installed it (I've now also tried a ubuntu CD. Scripted reboot after installation is fine and it loads into Gnome. It has an ethernet connection so acquiring packages is not a problem. The issue is that on any subsequent reboot, I am greeted with either a
reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media
(indicative of checking disk slot)
Checking media presence......
Start PXE over IPv4, Press [ESC] to exit.
(indicative of checking for boot-by-LAN)
Now, my boot order is HDD, ODD, USB, LAN. (I've also tried telling the computer to specifically boot from the HDD, but it just skips to something else) I have no USB plugged in, so it is clearly not recognizing that there is an OS on the HDD and moving on to the next step. The installer for Debian, Ubuntu, and the BIOS have never failed to see that there is a hard drive there, but after a reboot that wasn't scripted by an installer, the computer doesn't seem to be able to start the OS.
I've also tried swapping out the stock (old) hard drive that came with the pc with a new SSD I ordered online. Same results; installers/BIOS can see the drive, and can boot directly after installation but will not boot from HDD. This PC was working (albeit very slowly) just fine 2 days ago with windows 10.
ALSO (probably also important), when I was moving files off of my computer, I noticed that in some cases, when the computer was showing/calculating folder/file sizes, it was calculating completely wrong numbers. One folder was listed as over 3TB, wheras the hard drive for the entire computer was only 1TB. In addition, the computer has quickly flashed error messages during installation of either OS, which I could only briefly see and were something like ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed E_LIMIT (20180531/psparse-516)
My real question is if it's a hardware issue that would make it beyond help, or if it's a software thing that I'm just doing wrong.