Black Screen, boot fails

My sync 3 system seemed to be functioning fully before I selected a master reset on the touch screen, the reason why I chose master reset is because it started to act a little bit buggy or laggy, I thought maybe if I did a master reset, I could reconfigure the settings that I like and the system would essentially have a lower amount of cache in the system memory. So after the master reset it appeared everything was working great, but then when it came time for a fresh boot, nothing, just a black screen. Currently in a normal power on engine on cycle, I do get the Ford logo splash screen with some motion, but after that it goes to a black screen and there’s nothing there. Based on how to screen is reacting to touch I believe the touch screen is still reacting and recognizes that I’m touching the screen, the radio is playing in the background, the volume knob does work, but I’m not able to change the radio channel, I haven’t tried pushing any other buttons on the radio itself. Then I thought maybe there was a forscan setting that was corrupting the master reset boot cycle, I read that in some forums or heard that in some YouTube videos too, I thought maybe I could fix this by loading the as builts provided by forscan, I did that last night, I loaded and wrote to the truck the as built provided by forscan, that didn’t help or change anything, it’s behaving the same exact way as it did before that. So I fell back to the cyan labs software, hoping I could get a full boot and go from there. I think no matter what I do I’m just kind of stuck. Using the flash drive that was created by the cyan labs software on the computer, I don’t get the Ford logo splash screen. I’m really not sure what to do now, it seems that if I just take the flash drive which is connected to the USB off the truck, and just start it up normally, I will keep getting the ford flash screen and that will be all. Before trying to correct this with forscan and also before trying the cyan labs software, I tried several times to use the soft reboot function by holding the volume knob and the forward seek button down until I see the Ford logo pop back up, that hasn’t changed a darn thing. I’m really not sure what to do at this point. I am using a 32 GB micro SD card, it is inserted into an SD card adapter, and the SD card adapter is plugged into an adapter to USB-A plug. I created this flash drive with my computer at home with the same configuration. My thought is if the pc and cyan labs has no issue creating this flash drive to load this program, then my truck should accept the software perfectly, the truck doesn’t know any better. Sometimes and very rarely flash drive adapters cause a conflict, but that’s extremely rare with low tech hardware. Frankly a micro USB card plugged into an SD card adapter, plugged into an SD card to USB A adapter, these are all very low tech pieces of hardware. And I’m pretty sure the Ford Sync 3 system along with its USB connecters are also low tech hardware. Back Up camera still works, I do still see a backlight on the screen,

SYNC Region: NA

Navigation Variant: Nav

Manufacturer Year: Pre MY20

Install Type: OEM

Old SYNC Version: 3

New SYNC Version: 3

Do you have a error message, if so what is it?
No error messages, no messages at all. This flash drive and the software on it don’t seem to be interacting with the sync 3 system and if they are I’m not getting any messages on the screen at all. By the way I’m really not 100% certain what version of sync My head unit had on it before my master reset, I’m not sure exactly, is that something I can find out with forscan?

Update Method: CyanLabs Syn3 Updater

Syn3 Updater Version: The latest version, just created the flash drive last night

Syn3 Updater Documentation Read: yes

Syn3 Updater Log File

I'm not sure what this means, I would need more explanation or details to be able to provide an answer to this question or request.

You would be better off using a good quality USB instead of hoping an extension, SD card reader as well as an SD micro card are all working correctly.

When I take it back inside and connect it to my computer, everything looks great, I have no reason to believe that the truck doesn’t see the USB stick, what I think is happening is because the head unit will not boot up, there’s no way it’ll go into an update. I think I need to get the head unit to boot up before I can anticipate doing any updates or downgrades.

When you refer to quality I suppose you may be talking about the brand and the type.

The microSD card being used cost me over 50 bucks alone, The reader was another $25, and the adapter cost me $45.

Don’t think about me is that I don’t buy cheap stuff, if you want good performance you’ve got to be able to buy a name brand and proven quality products. These micro SD cards were purchased for GoPros, drones, smartphones, and cameras, I only buy the best.

So to respond to good quality I think I’ve got that part covered.

I really do think the problem is the head unit won’t boot up, so there’s no way it’ll do an update. Every YouTube video I’ve watched where people are using cyan Lab software, the head units are booting up fully. Mine won’t do that.


Please do not take this the wrong way, but with that amount of text without proper separation it’s a bit hard to follow you. This is a personal comment, of course.

So lets try to summarize what’s the unit’s condition at the moment.
I’m going to ask short and concise questions, even though I’ve read your posts, I want to confirm them:

A) What’s the unit’s status?, operational but with a black screen?. By “operational” we assume that the USB ports get power, the radio plays in the background, bluetooth is enabled and such things.

B) If the previous is correct, do you see a boot screen at any moment?.

C) What’s the current Sync3 version installed?. If “A” is true you can try running an interrogator log against the unit. If it works, share the XML file with us (redact the VIN number from the file’s title and content if you care about it).

D) What’s the APIM’s model that’s read through FORSCAN?.

E) Can you post your ASBUILT values read through FORSCAN?.


The unit will not boot up fully
The screen is black but the backlit is visible. Since the unit will not boot up there’s no way to connect anything via Bluetooth and there’s no way to know whether USB connectivity is actually a thing that’s happening.

A] what is the units status?

  1. USB working? I’m not sure
  2. Bluetooth working? I’m not sure
  3. Radio working, yes, kinda, No way to change the input or the station that the radio is set to. Volume knob works fine both on the unit and on the steering wheel.

B] Boot Screen?

  1. Upon startup what I get is the Ford logo, blue oval splash screen. It behaves like a live wallpaper. But then the screen goes black and that’s it.
    C] What is the current sync version installed?
  2. I don’t have that information on hand, maybe if I were prepared for something like this I would document it before hand. I know I didn’t over the air update about 6 months ago. But the exact version number is information I don’t have.
    D] What’s the APIM’s model?
  3. I’ll hook it up to forscan and get that information.
    E] Can you post your ASBUILT values read through forscan?
  4. All as builts?, APIM as builts?
    There are multiple asbuilts that can be reviewed, edited, or altered with forscan, which asbuilts do you refer to?


I do not care about that, I didn’t ask for that. I just asked if it was “enabled”.
If you see Sync3 (or whatever name you configured to it in the past) as a “pairable” device from maybe your phone, it’s enabled and operational.

Aren’t your ports lighted?. If so, do they light up?.

Then radio works, it’s THAT simple.

Good, then the splash screen turns into a black screen.

Of course I meant the APIM, we are not troubleshooting the ACM, TCM or TCU :wink:

Try running an interrogator log, if it succeeds it should reboot the unit once it’s done (I think). The interrogator package is version dependant, hence the question if you knew what version you had.

Here’s what I found looking through forscan.


Part number: KU5T-14G371-CDF

Calibration level: KU5T-14G371-CJC (latest known: LU5T-14G371-CMT)

Strategy : 1U5T-14G374-DA

Calibration: 1U5T-14G375-DA

Try running an interrogator log:
I have no idea how to get that done.

The phone will not connect, I decided to unpair the phone from the truck then did a scan, The truck does not show up as an available Bluetooth connection. Key on, engine running.

Lighted ports:
Yes the ports are lighted ports however,
from what I can tell, the ports are not lighting up. To be 100% honest I’m not sure if they’ve ever lit up before. I usually keep that compartment closed. But they sure look like they are lighted ports, because they’ve got a white plastic ring around them.

Good, a not MY20 unit.

Just click the link and read how.

Based on what I’ve gathered, I’m going to call the unit “operational with a black screen”.
Question: does your vehicle have a reverse camera?.
If so, is it activated if you put the vehicle into reverse?.

Before moving forward, I need:

  • The output from the interrogator log (not mandatory, but highly desirable)
  • Your current APIM’s ASBUILT.

Finally, please try not to double post. If you want to add information, use the edit button instead. It’s cleaner that way, or at least it’s for me.

This is my thinking process: if the unit boots (splash creen) into a black screen, it’s not 100% dead.

Regarding the USB ports

After checking with some other devices that I have available, I find that the USB ports are powered up and working. I have a little wireless device that I plug into the USB port and it allows me to use wireless Android Auto to the head unit, when I plugged that device in my phone alerts me that Android Auto is available.

But since I’ve unpaired my truck from my phone, and it doesn’t show up as a parable device, I can’t reconnect my phone to the truck.

I’ve already assumed so :point_down:

We need to look into why the screen is black, but I believe your unit is operational, but no usable.

Please make sure you do not have anything else plugged into any of the USB ports not even something as simple as a phone charging cable.

Is this not simply that a incompatible theme is applied?

I’ve not that read that essay so maybe it’s mentioned elsewhere but this seems like the issue to me

Exactly my thougts, but i’ve not yet enough information to confirm that.

100%, that’s been my approach… Of I can get it to a full boot cycle I think then some progress can be made…
And trying to find some of this information, I connected it to forscan again last night.

I ran a test and was able to successfully change the boot splash screen. This gives me some hope that the head unit is communicating with forscan, there’s just no way to interact with it since it has a black screen.

Thanks for your help

I did try to change a theme, I believe that was about a week and a half ago, that never seemed to stick. I don’t believe I had things on the head unit that weren’t Ford themes but I can’t be 100% sure. I have only used forscan for any software modifications to the truck.

I guess if there are themes provided within as builts that are offered by forscan then maybe that’s a possibility.

Something for sure caused to master reset to lock into a boot loop. I just happen to be stuck on the black screen.


I remember back in my prime, which was a couple decades ago or more, I remember working on home computers that would lock on the boot and didn’t get stuck in a boot loop, you’d get little or no interaction with those computers, I remember having custom-made discs, some were CDs, some were floppies, even had a couple of flash drives, you would just simply boot the machine up with the disconcerted and it would force a wipe and a rewrite for that the primary drive on that machine.

I guess more and more that’s what we need to be able to do with these vehicles if we’re going to encounter software errors.

I really was trying to rescue this myself, I’m getting closer and closer to dragging it into the dealership and ask them to wipe it and reflash it. I really have low confidence that the dealer would even be able to do that without seven or eight people getting involved.


Most likely you need to change your theme with Forscan to the correct theme, refer to our database

They have no ability to do this, and wiping it wouldn’t fix the issue if the issue is a incompatible theme