Got a friends Toshiba Satallite L455-s500 that while attempting to boot, just get a black screen with the cursor flashing in the upper left corner after displaying the Toshiba logo. Can get into the CMOS and boot menu. Looks to me like the HD is bad.
Can I just use a stock 2.5" SATA hd from Newegg to replace? Are most laptop hard drives the same, nothing propriatary for Toshiba or this model?
Haven't pulled the drive out yet but can I connect it to a std SATA power and data cable on my desktop to try or copy data if it will let me?
That's a standard 2.5" SATA II laptop drive all right. Nothing special there.
A couple things you can do. Make yourself a bootable rescue CD or USB thumb drive.
You can use that to inspect the disk and see if you can recover files. Also does an easy check of the rest of the hardware.