Is this the relic I think it is, Celeron 2.0 Ghz, from sometime between 2005 & 2008? (The entirety of this reply assumes I am correct about the model).
If so, the HDD would be a likely suspect. Most of these things originally shipped with Vista. (Of course Windows 7 should install as an upgrade, maybe). Or possibly Windows 7 might have been in later runs.
Anyway, AFAIK, Toshiba never shipped Windows discs with these machines, but rather "restore discs". These contain an image of the OS, complete with drivers, and the original "bloatware", (or more charitably, "value added software"), included.
A 250 GB SSD can be had for about $18.00 ("Team Group" @ Newegg). Assuming you still have the restore discs, I would swap out the HDD for the SSD, then try to reinstall from them.
Plans "B" through "?". Do a "live run", with Ubuntu or Mint Linux via the USB port, to see if the drive is accessible. You could burn either of these OSes to DVD and run them from the laptop's DVD drive as well.`
Pull the lappy's HDD and install it into a desktop, (you can also put the drive in a USB external enclosure if you have one), to see if you can gain access to it that way.
Be sure to scan the drive with the desktop's antivirus as soon as it's hooked up.