So, last night before I went to sleep, there was a Windows Update on my laptop (my laptop is Windows 8.1).

The update was pretty big as it said there were 128 updates for my laptop.

After the updates were installed on my laptop, it asked to restart my laptop. However, I noticed a small text below the "Restart PC" option which said "Updates failed".

This somewhat worried me, but I thought that since the "Restart PC" option popped up, it must be ok. I left the laptop on overnight and let my laptop restart with the updates installed. I wake up this morning to find my laptop powered on. I log into my laptop and am greeted with a black screen with just my cursor showing. Surprised, I thought that my laptop was just being slow again, so I gave it a couple of minutes. Still, it showed the black screen with my cursor. I force turned it off (since I couldn't access the "Turn PC Off" option due to the black screen) and tried logging in again. Same black screen showed up.

I went on my phone and tried searching for the problem online. I tried Ctrl + Alt + Delete and accessing the Task Manager, but it didn't work. I tried accessing the safe mode (it took me almost 20 minutes just trying to go there because my Acer laptop requires me to press Shift + Restart button on the log in screen to access Safe Mode and other Advanced Options) but it gave me the SAME black screen with cursor. I tried Safe Mode with Networking and Safe Mode with Command Prompt. None of them worked.

I tried running Startup Repair and they said there was some problem with my disk and they tried scanning and repairing it, but it did not work either. Lastly, I tried running System Restore. The first time it did not work due to the "disk" problem. The second time, everything was going well but at last, it said that my antivirus (Norton) did not allow the System Restore.

Now, what can I do? I've looked up everywhere and I've found a forum post that tells the EXACT same problem, even down to the last detail. However, they got it fixed by accessing Ctrl + Alt + Delete and the Task Manager, but I cannot do that.

Is there a way to get Safe Mode to work so I can disable my antivirus and let the System Restore work? This is the laptop that I use to do my schoolwork, so a quick response would be really helpful. Thank you in advance!

My laptop is Acer Aspire E 15 if that helps.

  • 1
    Your hard drive appears to have failed. Get the Acer Hardware Diagnostics on bootable USB Key. Start with that and test your hardware. Good luck.
    – John
    May 25, 2020 at 18:34
  • 1
    First run disk diagnostics, then replace disk if faulty, then restore from backup. Finally install updates in small chunks. May 25, 2020 at 18:52
  • Hey guys. Thank you for responding. I ran chkdsk and nothing popped up. It said “windows has scanned the file system and found no errors” “No further action is requried”. Afterwards, I ran system restore and tried restoring it to the point before the major update. When it finished, it said “system restore could not acesss a file. This is probably because an antivirus program is running on the computer.” Now, how can I turn my antivirus off if I can’t even access safe mode? The same black screen pops up on safe mode and low resolution video... please help fast
    – Debesh
    May 26, 2020 at 1:35

1 Answer 1


You need to replace the disk. CHKDSK does some logical checking but you need the hardware test application to properly test the drive. The Restore and other things you tried cannot access files. Anti Virus does not normally prevent access to files.

So at this point, the drive has failed and can only get worse.

You can try reinstalling Windows from a USB Key to see if that starts the process, but at this point, the drive appears untrustworthy and should be replaced.

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