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Black screen, post Update, no Safe Mode RRS feed

  • Question

  • 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. 

    Tuesday, January 3, 2017 10:18 PM

Answers

  • Hi Tim,

    “I suppose I could always find a way to plug the hard drive from this computer into another computer for access to the data.”

    Because one product key is only for one machine. If you planned to plug the hard drive to another machine. I am afraid the operating system on the disk won't be genuine. We need an additional product key for the new machine. But we could make this old disk as an data drive with a STAT to USB cable. Then the data on this drive will be accessible.

    Best,
    Joy 


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    • Marked as answer by WestSailing Monday, January 9, 2017 12:47 PM
    Monday, January 9, 2017 9:47 AM

All replies

  • How was Win 10 installed from Win 7.Either way,windows OS (xp/vista/Win7/etc) can/could handle youre

    boat software operations,if compatable.Also,power to laptop pc require internal-battery power,if the internal

    battery is bad,the pc can still function ok on its battery charger.One note to this,if battery pc is bad,with charger power only,wait 15-20 minutes on charger before pc start...Sounds like youre problem,in MS-DOS & w/o any pc

    progress,a power supply would be best guess...

    Tuesday, January 3, 2017 11:58 PM
  • Windows 10 no longer responds to F8 at boot-up I don't think even shift+F8 would work but it sounds like a more serious issue than that. I would power it off completely with no battery backup etc and try reseating the CPU and RAM and checking all cables to the motherboard. If that fails then it may be the MBoard or CPU has failed. I would try a full power down for 20 mins and a BIOS reset if you can get in. Is the display driver OK?
    Wednesday, January 4, 2017 12:40 AM
  • Andrew, Sorry, I wasn't clear on the "Update" I was attempting. I was not updating to Windows 10 but simply updating the security and operational patches for Windows 7 when the computer locked up. I think it would be too much of a coincidence for the internal battery to die during this process but I suppose it's possible. You may be correct in that the problem is with MS-DOS as I suspect the partial update before the computer locked up may have partially or incompletely changed some of the startup instructions. Now the startup instructions may be corupt and preventing me from doing anything.
    • Proposed as answer by Joy-Qiao Thursday, January 5, 2017 3:08 AM
    Wednesday, January 4, 2017 7:24 AM
  • Sircles, I will try "Shift+F8". Just to be clear, you are saying I should open up the computer, remove the internal battery, reseat the CPU & RAM, check the cables, and attempt to power up again?

    Are there other key combinations besides F8 or SHIFT+F8 that may open the safe mode?

    Wednesday, January 4, 2017 7:30 AM
  • Hi WestSailing,

    What is the machine model of the Windows 7 machine?

    Is it available to see your computer’s manufacturer logo after you pressed power button?

    If we can’t see device manufacturer logo, try to plug out all external devices and battery, then press power button over 10 seconds to discharge. After that, try to start computer to check if the issue exist or not.

    If the logo shows out, you can try the following steps:

     “I have an external USB wired CD drive”
    Make a Windows 7 USB bootable installation drive, then choose “Repair your computer” to boot into WinRE. Then choose “Startup repair” to fix the BCD. Or choose “System restore” to recover the machine to a previous normal point.

    Or try to create a WinRE disk from another Windows 7 machine then plug in the disk to this Windows 7 machine to boot into WinRE.

    Best regards,
    Joy.


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    Thursday, January 5, 2017 2:25 AM
  • Joy,

    Thank you for the advice. Unfortunately, I have nothing on the monitor, (no logo, image, or curser) except for a barely discernible brief flicker during the boot up process. Because the monitor is USB powered rather than from a 120volt wall socket, I wonder if maybe substituting a standard 120volt monitor may help? It has been suggested that maybe the motherboard is fried but finding a replacement on this small island in Indonesia is going to be difficult. Below are the specs on the computer:

    Item

    Power Bundle - Mobile Car Computer System [Operating System:Win 7 Home Premium] [Memory: 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM] [Accessories:None] [Prototyping & Systems Integration:Fast Ship-Parts only] [Hard Drive:Intel 160GB Solid-State Drive] [WiFi:None] [Bluetooth:None] [Centrafuse Software:None]

    P4-12V to P4-12V Cable

    Intel Core i3 2.6 GHz Processor i3-2120T Sandy Bridge LGA 1155 35W

    Morex 5677 Mini-ITX Case Without PSU

    4GB DDR3 1333 Dual Channel 4GB/256x8 Memory RAM

    Intel Desktop Board DH67CF Media Series - motherboard - mini ITX - LGA1155 Socket - H67 - LGA1155 So

    M2-ATX 160W Intelligent DC-DC PSU

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium OEM

    Intel 160GB X25 Mainstream SATA Solid-State Drive G2 SSD

    Very respectfully,

    Tim

    Thursday, January 5, 2017 3:39 AM
  • Hi Tim,

    “I have nothing on the monitor, (no logo, image, or curser)”
    If the device manufacturer logo is not available, it is more likely a hardware issue. The first step we could try is to perform a hardware reset. There is a reset manual about Dell, I hope it would be helpful for you. For a hardware issue, you‘d better to contact the device manufacturer support for help.

    How to Perform a BIOS or CMOS Reset and/or Clear the NVRAM on your Dell System
    http://www.dell.com/support/Article/sg/en/sgdhs1/SLN284985

    NOTE: This response contains a reference to a third party World Wide Web site. Microsoft is providing this information as a convenience to you. Microsoft does not control these sites and has not tested any software or information found on these sites.

    Best,
    Joy


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    • Edited by Joy-Qiao Friday, January 6, 2017 5:33 AM
    Friday, January 6, 2017 2:51 AM
  • Joy,

    Thanks again for your assistance. It could be argued that there is no “device manufacturer”. I purchased the components un-assembled from a supplier a couple years ago. In contacting the supplier, their response was, “thanks for your email. Based on what you're saying, it sounds like a problem with your motherboard. We're unable to provide that level of technical support. Your best [bet} is to take your computer into a repair shop.” As I mentioned previously, this is a pretty isolated part of the world to find a competent computer repair shop.

    I have attempted to follow the instructions in the information you linked.

    This computer has no password associated with it but attempting to reset the BIOS, I restarted the computer repeatedly pressing the F2 key for one minute. During this process, the monitor remained black with no logo, text, or cursor, as if it were turned off. Never the less, I continued by pressing the F9 key and also the Alt+F combination. I then pressed ESC a couple of times before pressing ENTER. Then I restarted the computer with a hard shutdown and re-energize. Still nothing on the monitor.

    Securing the power, I opened the computer. Disconnected the internal battery, held the power switch down for 10 seconds and re-connected the internal CMOS batter. Again, I attempted to restart the computer. Still nothing on the monitor.

    Moving on, I attempted to clear the CMOS settings via the BIOS configuration Jumper Block, even though this should be unnecessary after removing the CMOS battery. I followed the Intel instructions for the DH67CF motherboard. Moving the jumper from pins 1-2 to 2-3, powering up, then restarting with the jumper on the 1-2 pins. Still nothing on the monitor.

    Next, I removed the same jumper to activate the Restore mode. Plugged in the CD drive with the original Windows CD loaded. During previous attempts, the drive only ran for a couple seconds. This time the CD drive was busy doing something for an hour. At the end, still nothing on the monitor, even after a restart.

    Not sure where to go at this point. I wonder if replacing this USB driven monitor for a standard 120v monitor would help. Unfortunately, Indonesia runs on 230v appliances which will likely make it difficult to locate a standard monitor locally that runs on 120v (as my boat is wired for US 120v). Otherwise, would replacing the motherboard likely fix the problem?

    Unless you have another idea, my only hope of escaping Indonesia at this point may be to purchase another navigational computer, something that will suffice for now. Maybe once I get back to civilization, I can get a replacement monitor or motherboard to recover my data. It would be nice to salvage this computer but I suppose I could always find a way to plug the hard drive from this computer into another computer for access to the data.

    Thanks again

    Tim

    Saturday, January 7, 2017 5:46 AM
  • Hi Tim,

    “I suppose I could always find a way to plug the hard drive from this computer into another computer for access to the data.”

    Because one product key is only for one machine. If you planned to plug the hard drive to another machine. I am afraid the operating system on the disk won't be genuine. We need an additional product key for the new machine. But we could make this old disk as an data drive with a STAT to USB cable. Then the data on this drive will be accessible.

    Best,
    Joy 


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    • Marked as answer by WestSailing Monday, January 9, 2017 12:47 PM
    Monday, January 9, 2017 9:47 AM