Sync 3.4 Black Screen

What is your SYNC Region?
United States
What is your current SYNC Version?
3.0.xxxxx
Do you have Navigation?
Yes
Do you have a error message, if so what is it?


Please paste your log output or provide the URL to your log file below


Please describe in detail your issue below

I accidentally had the wrong Sync 3 version in setup process of the update. In turn I have a black screen that won’t do anything. It said “update complete” and then went black and hasn’t done anything since. Wondering if there’s anything possible to do to fix it or dish money out to buy a new system. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Can you please provide your log file from the USB so that I can take a look at the exact settings you entered into the updater app?

There have been some other users who have encountered this black screen as well due to misconfiguration of the app. Although most of these scenarios were recoverable, it is important to know the exact steps that were taken that lead up to the black screen.

  1. Does the system respond at all? Are you able to hear radio when you turn on the car?
  2. Do the USB ports light up?
  3. Do you have access to FORScan? If so you can try performing a module reset this way and also view DTC codes.

You can also try doing a “hard reset” of the APIM by holding down the radio power button and the right seek button for a few seconds.

How do I find the log file? I tried re-downloading it with the original Sync 3.0.00000 for it, so I don’t know if it is possible to get the log file. I remembering entering 3.2.xxxxx, it had a SYNC version when i first opened it up, not sure exactly which it was though. I’m sorry.

  1. The system doesn’t respond at all, and I can’t hear the radio either.
  2. Yes, the usb ports do light up.
  3. I currently own a Mac, but i’ve been using the Parallel app to use Windows on it. How would I go about it with the FORScan?

I tried holding both of them down, and it still didn’t respond any. I may have also messed up a little because I turned off the truck and turned it back on.

The log file would have been on the USB but if you already wiped the USB to try other things then you will be missing the original log file so that won’t help much.

Given your answers to the questions, I believe that your APIM should be recoverable. As long as the USB ports are lighting up there might be hope here. What you should try next is creating a USB for 3.4 once again and plugging that in to see if anything happens.

Enter these settings into the current configuration screen:

Enter these settings into the new version screen (of course select your USB):

This will create a USB that should automatically take you from 3.0 to the latest 3.4. If you plug this in and still nothing happens, then we can try and walk you through FORScan. It requires an ODB connector and Windows (Parallels might work but it is recommended to have a native boot of Windows).

This is the recommended ODB connector for FORScan:

OBDLink® EX - OBD2 Adapter For ELM327 & FORScan

I also forgot to ask, but did you have any of the modules relating to the APIM replaced in the past? Be it the APIM itself or the screen assembly?

Those are what I put in to try to re-do it again and it’s still currently downloading as we speak. And I use to have the 4" myford screen, but I bought an 8" touchscreen conversion setup from someone who was selling their old parts. Switching all of that over would have been the only stuff that was replaced.

Ok, no worries. The reason I am asking for replacement or swapped parts is because the reformat tool does NOT work on 2020+ model year systems (as explicitly stated in the updater app). If the 8" unit you put into your truck is from a 2020+ model year then it will not be recoverable and will require replacement.

It was from a 2016 F150, I thought going to new wouldn’t work for the 2015

All right, so there should be no issues with using the reformat tool and we can proceed to test things further.

You can technically put in any APIM and screen assembly from any model year and it should work. Newer APIM models just have extra processing power and a few extra configurable parameters (but these are not applicable to older vehicles).

Okay! The update just finished, so I’m going to try and see if that works

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After plugging it in this time, nothing happened, and the lights around the USB ports are no longer lighting up

Well the only thing that USB would have done is enter your APIM into the reformat tool. You should have display output once the unit rebooted, so if you still have no display then I would suggest fully power cycling your truck (i.e. disconnect battery for 10-15 min and then try again).

If you still have no display after a power cycle then you are likely going to have to try using FORScan to proceed any further.

Okay, I will try that and see if it works. If that doesn’t work, how would i do it using FORScan?

FORScan will allow you to connect directly to the APIM via the CAN-bus. You will need to interface with the truck via an ODB adapter such as the one I linked above. You can download FORScan free of charge from their website:

Download FORScan

If you would like to try and proceed with troubleshooting via FORScan, just let me know when you’ve got everything set up and ready.

I was able to download FORScan and I bought the OBD adapter that you linked above, however it is supposed to be delivered on Saturday

No problem, when you get the adapter I can try and walk you through some procedures with screenshots. I believe I have my adapter laying around somewhere.

In the meantime just give that battery power cycle a shot and see if it helps. What I suspect happened is that the reformat tool was somehow incorrectly loaded into the APIM (you mentioned you power cycled your truck after the installation complete message?) and so upon reboot it has nothing to boot from.

Okay, thank you so much for the help! Also okay, I was planning on doing that tomorrow morning, and hope that works.

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Sounds like you installed this on a car with a my20 screen.

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Is there any way for you to confirm if it was an original APIM for that model or had been replaced? A black screen is a common issue for MY20 screens, which of course should not happen with a MY16 model…

How would I go about checking to see if it is the original APIM for the model?