Black screen, post Update, no Safe Mode


New member
Jan 3, 2017
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I am looking for some advice reviving my computer. I have a custom built computer designed for installation in an automobile. Nothing fancy other than a robust direct 12v power supply instead of a converter as is typically found on a laptop. This computer is installed aboard a boat and primarily used for navigational and communication programs. The computer is running Windows 7 and is not normally connected to the internet. The keyboard is wireless with new batteries. The monitor is an LCD monitor that receives both power and data via a pair of USB cables.
The computer was operating properly but I had the opportunity to download the latest Windows updates (which had not previously been done for over a year). During the update process, the computer locked up to the point that even the clock stopped. I left it for an hour or so, hoping it would resolve itself. After no joy, I attempted a hard shutdown. I have since been unable to start the computer.
When I attempt to start the computer, the power light comes on and the monitor flickers slightly but the result is a black screen with no curser. I have attempted to start the computer in “Safe Mode” by trying to start it with the F8 key continually depressed. When that didn’t work, I attempted repeatedly pressing the F8 key during the boot up period. I have also tried the same with the 8 key, F5, and 5 keys independently, to no avail.
I have an external USB wired CD drive. I plugged in this drive with the original Windows 7 operating system CD loaded. The drive lights up briefly during the boot-up process and then after a few seconds goes off with no indication by either indicator lights or activity on the monitor that anything is happening.
I considered the problem may be that the wireless keyboard may not be delivering the “F8” message early enough in the boot up process. I purchased a new wired (USB) keyboard to hopefully resolve this issue. Again, I tried all the different combinations of F8, F5, and so on, to no avail.
I have confirmed the USB wired keyboard works by plugging it into my laptop. In the process, I noticed that the Number Lock indicator light is an “on/off” switch that stays on or off even after the keyboard is unplugged from my laptop. So I plugged it into my laptop, turned on the Number lock, unplugged the keyboard from my laptop and plugged it into one of the USB ports on the energized computer in question. I tried all of the USB ports but the Number Lock indicator never illuminated. Then I plugged the keyboard back into my laptop, as expected, the number lock indicator illuminated again. This tells me that the keyboard is not even getting power when plugged into the custom computer.
Curiously, when I try to start my laptop (Toshiba Satellite w/ Windows 10) in “Safe Mode” by either holding down or repeatedly pressing F8, that does not work either. The laptop boots as normal to the password screen and beyond after the password is entered. This tells me that either the F8 method of getting to a “Safe Mode” alternative only works on some computers or I am doing something wrong.
At this point, I am at a loss of how to resolve this issue. The computer is critical as it supports the navigation aboard my sailboat. My boat (and family) are currently touring Indonesia. One alternative may be to replace the computer which would be preferable to immigrating to Indonesia but I would then lose all of my archived navigational data. Much of it would be difficult or impossible to replace in Indonesia with poor internet bandwidth.
My intent, if I can ever get the computer to start up, is to access the last restore point prior to the update. Then never update the computer again.


New member
Oct 2, 2016
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Hi! The only thing that comes to my mind at the moment is to see if you can boot to a live Linux CD.I have a UBUNTU 14.04.3 CD that I use. Are you able to get into the BIOS and set that to default. If the Hard drive is not completely fried, you might be able to retrieve your data if you can boot with a UBUNTU live CD.
Maybe other members will have comments latter! Good Luck!:wink:

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