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Vive Headset displaying black screen on main computer, works fine on others

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Hello everyone,


I'm writing this topic to seek help on an issue I have with my good old VIVE headset.

As the title says, my headset is displaying a black screen on my main computer and works fine on others computers.
Before going into the details, here the technical specs of my main PC :

  • Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-7600K CPU @ 3.80GHz (4 CPUs), ~3.8GHz
  • Memory: 32768MB RAM
  • DirectX Version: DirectX 12
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Éducation 64-bit
  • Card name: AMD Radeon R9 200 Series
  • Dedicated Memory: 2027 MB


My problem is the following :

I own a VIVE headset from several years now. It used to work on my main PC. It wasn't working super well because of my super duper old graphic card but it was working so I didn't mind.

I haven't used it for a year due to lack of space to play and now I have a dedicated space to use it.
When I reinstalled it, the display was all crooked, like a digital version of static from the TV (see the linked images for reference). When I screenshot through SteamVR, I get black screenshot.
When I use the SteamVR's option to see what the headset is suppose to display, I get a normal display on my computer screen.

In use, I have no errors from SteamVR. Vive Bases are recognized. The LED on the headset is green.


Here what I tried so far to solve the issue :

  • Update SteamVR and Steam
  • Update my GPU drivers
  • Went through this troubleshooting : https://help.steampowered.com/en/wizard/HelpWithGameIssue/?appid=250820&issueid=370&nodeid=52&return_nodeid=48
  • Changed the HDMI cable and the USB cable
  • Change the connection ports of the cable (to avoid USB 3.0 for instance)
  • I have the chance to have a friend with the exact same model of VIVE. I've been to his house and tried my headset at his house : it is working fine on his setup.
  • Bypassed the LinkBox + tried with my friend's LinkBox
  • Changed my 3-in-1 cable with my friend's 3-in-1 cable
  • Reinstalled SteamVR several times.
  • Installed SteamVR on my work laptop and launch the VIVE with my setup but with the laptop : VIVE is working fine.

All this troubleshooting only revealed that my headset is working fine everywhere except my main PC.
I don't have a display port cable to test this option out.

I've come to the conclusion that something is off with my PC software and this something is preventing my VIVE to work fine on my PC.

My best guess for now is my Steam installation as I installed Steam in C:\Users\[UserName]\Documents\Steam. My SteamVR software is in there. Maybe it is causing some compatibility problems ? I don't really know for sure as I'm not a SteamlVR dev lol.

So here I come before the nuclear option (which is uninstalling Steam and reinstalling it a more "normal" way). I'm not close to this idea but I would avoid it if possible as it is quite annoying to do.

I'm also posting this post on several subreddits dedicated to the VIVE and SteamVR to get as many advice as possible, I'll keep you posted for science and other users who might encounter the same problem.

Thanks a lot for reading this through and have a great day everyone.


The left lense of my VIVE headset when I run SteamVR on my main PC (picture with my phone)

The right lense of my VIVE headset when I run SteamVR on my main PC (picture with my phone)



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2 minutes ago, VIVE_chengnay said:

Hi @Thelulucien,

How about you try your friend's headset on your old PC?

Will it work or still the same?

That's a very good idea, I didn't think about that when I borrowed his LinkBox as I was more focused on searching an issue with the accessories.
I'm gonna see him on Thursday, I'll ask to borrow his headset ! (And return his LinkBox ^^)

Thanks for the idea !

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, VIVE_chengnay said:

Hi @Thelulucien,

How about you try your friend's headset on your old PC?

Will it work or still the same?

I saw you mentioned about reinstall SteamVR several times, what about uninstall cleanly Steam and reinstall Steam+SteamVR?

Didn't see the line about reinstalling Steam, sorry for the double reply back-to-back.

As I said in my post, I'm aware that it is a possible solution. In addition, my Steam installation is old and in a odd place (Steam is install in the Documents part of the Users/[Username]). The thing is, my PC, more especially the hard drive, is quite old (~7 years if my memory is correct). I have plenty of saved games, mods and memories that goes with my Steam instance. Uninstalling and reinstalling Steam will be a pain in the butt (sorry for the language).

That's why I'm trying the forum and the internet before doing what I call the nuclear option.
I will do what I must if the internet's help yield no results.

Edited by Thelulucien
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