The most common HTC Vive problems, and how to fix them

common htc vive problems and how to fix them black
The HTC Vive is, by our estimation, the best virtual reality headset currently on the market. It’s an exciting and innovative device, but it’s also complex and requires very specific setup conditions in order to work, and work properly. As such, a myriad of problems can occur, stemming from both hardware and software issues. Thankfully, many of these problems can be fully addressed and prevented. This guide will cover the most common HTC Vive problems users may encounter, and how to fix them.

If you exhaust the fixes detailed in this article, or simply do not find a solution to your particular problem, it may require you to send a system report to the SteamVR mailing list so Valve can diagnose and hopefully solve whatever is plaguing your system or device setup.

  1. From SteamVR, go to Settings > General > Create System Report.
  2. Click Save to File.
  3. Email the system report file to steamvr@valvesoftware.com

Valve stresses to do this ONLY if the solutions listed here — which are culled from Valve’s troubleshooting page and the Steam forums — fail to yield a solution to your problem.

Issues presented with an error code

(Error 108) Headset not found

There are a couple of ways this error can manifest, either as an error message (error 108) or a blinking red light on the headset. This is usually the result of either a USB or driver issue.

Possible fixes:

  1. First and foremost, make sure the headset is plugged in correctly.
  2. The power, USB, and HDMI cables from the headset should be plugged into the correct slots on the link box; from there, the link box’s USB and HDMI should be plugged into the PC, and the power cord plugged into a power outlet.
  3. Once properly plugged in, the LED on the headset should be green, indicating that it’s ready for use.
  4. If everything is plugged in but the headset is not turning on, try a different outlet.

Once you’ve done that, if the issue still persists, there are a number of other things to try:

Reboot the headset

  1. In steamVR, right click on the headset icon and select Reboot Vive Headset.
  2. Wait for the reboot to complete.

Power cycle the link box

  1. Shut down SteamVR.
  2. Unplug the power and USB cord from the PC side of the link box (meaning NOT the orange side of the link box).
  3. Wait a few seconds.
  4. After a few minutes, plug the power and USB cord back into the Link Box. If you see a notification in the taskbar that a driver is installing, wait for it to finish.
  5. Relaunch SteamVR. Keep in mind that you may need to repeat this process more than once in order for the error to stop appearing.

Restart your computer

  • Quit SteamVR and reboot your computer.

Use a different USB port

Sometimes, plugging into USB 3.0 and 3.1 ports can cause errors. In that case, try using a USB 2.0 port instead. If there is a USB port already in use and working — say, one that your keyboard or mouse is plugged into — try moving the Vive connection to it. If, after trying all possible USB ports, you still do not have a connection, try resetting your USB devices using the following steps.

  1. Unplug the link cables from your PC.
  2. Navigate to SteamVR > Settings > General, and make sure the Developer Settings box is checked.
  3. Click Reset in the sidebar.
  4. Double check to see if the link box’s USB cable is unplugged from the PC. Click Remove all SteamVR Devices and click Yes when prompted.
  5. Next, quit SteamVR, plug the link box back into your PC, and re-launch SteamVR.

If you’ve attempted every fix detailed above, it may be that your USB chipset is causing the issue. Check with Steam’s support page for further explanation of compatible USB chipsets.

(Error 113) Path registry not writable

This is usually due to a lack of proper installation permissions. You’ll need to change your permissions in Windows.

Potential fix:

  1. Right click in Windows explorer and select the folder you wish to edit permissions for.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. Click on the Security tab.
  4. Check the names listed in the Group of usernames box. If the account you’re using does not appear, click Add and type the name of the user you wish to add. Skip this step if the username already shows up.
  5. To change permissions, click the Allow or Deny check box in the Permissions for User of Group box. For the purposes of solving error 113 with the Vive, you’ll want to allow access.

(Error 200) Driver failed

This error message indicates that the OpenVR driver failed.

Potential fixes:

  • If you added a file or folder to the SteamVR drivers director, removing it should fix the problem.
  • If not, you may not have the proper permission to write to the user directory. To change your permissions in Windows:
  1. Right click in Windows explorer and select the folder you wish to edit permissions for.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. Click on the Security tab.
  4. Check the names listed in the Group of usernames box. If the account you’re using does not appear, click Add and type the name of the user you wish to add. Skip this step if the username already shows up.
  5. To change permissions, click the Allow or Deny check box in the Permissions for User of Group box. For the purposes of solving error 200 with the Vive, you’ll want to allow access.

(Error 206) Driver not calibrated

Error 206 means that SteamVR was unable to load the calibration for your headset. To solve the issue, you will need to reset your headset to force the drivers to reinstall.

Potential fix:

  1. Unplug the headset.
  2. In SteamVR, go to Settings > Reset, and click Remove all SteamVR devices. Wait a moment.
  3. Plug your headset back in and wait for the drivers to install.

If repeated attempts do not solve the issue, Valve’s support website indicates you may have a faulty unit, and encourages users to contact HTC through the company’s website.

(Error 207) Driver calibration invalid

This error is similar to error 206, in that it indicates a failure of the headset calibration to be loaded by SteamVR. As such, the steps to solve the issue are the same.

Potential fix:

  1. Unplug the headset.
  2. In SteamVR, go to Settings > Reset, and click Remove all SteamVR devices. Wait a moment.
  3. Plug your headset back in and wait for the drivers to install.

If repeated attempts do not solve the issue, Valve’s support website indicates you may have a faulty unit, and encourages users to contact HTC through the company’s website.

(Error 208) HMD display not found/(Error 208) HMD found over USB, but monitor not found

If you encounter error 208 with the message “HMD display not found” or “HMD found over USB, but monitor not found”, then here’s what to try:

Potential fix:

  • Be sure you have the latest version of your video card drivers.
  • Double check the connections for all cables — those from the headset to the link box and the link box to the PC and power outlet alike. The power cord especially can come loose after heavy use. This can be checked by taking off the removable cable panel on the MHD by pushing it forward.
  • Make sure the orange-tipped cords from the headset are plugged into the orange ports on the link box.

(Error 301) Connect failed

This indicates that vrserver.exe failed to start or connect. Sometimes, this is caused by multiple instances of the program running at the same time.

Possible fix:

  1. Quit SteamVR.
  2. Type “Task manager’ in the Windows Start bar, and open the Task Manager.
  3. Locate any instances of vrserver.exe that may be running and quit the process.
  4. Run SteamVR.

If this doesn’t solve the issue, Valve’s support page instructs users to send in a system report as detailed in the introduction to this article.

(Error 302) Init failed

This error means that vrserver.exe is experiencing issues starting up.

Possible fix:

  • Usually, this can be fixed by simply rebooting your computer and trying again.
  • If this doesn’t solve the issue, Valve’s support page instructs users to send in a system report as detailed in the introduction to this article.

(1101 through 1112) USB error

All error messages between 1101 and 1112 are related to USB failures. If you receiving an error code within that range, try the following:

Possible fix:

  1. Unplug your headset/linkbox, controllers, and any other VR devices you have plugged into your PC.
  2. In SteamVR, go to Settings > Reset, and click Remove all SteamVR USB Devices.
  3. Click Yes.
  4. Quit SteamVR.
  5. Reconnect your headset, this time using a different USB port, and wait for drivers to install.
  6. Restart SteamVR.

If this doesn’t solve the issue, Valve’s support page instructs users to send in a system report as detailed in the introduction to this article.

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