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Error 208 (HMD) - Symptoms and Solutions


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Error 208 is a common error message. When it happens, there is no display on the screen and the red LED is on. Possible solutions are listed below:

  • Make sure that the link box is plugged into the same graphic card with the monitor or TV. The onboard cards, which are connected to PC’s motherboard, are usually not powerful enough to support the Vive.
  • Make sure the link box is used in a correct direction. The orange cables from the headset should be plugged into the orange ports on the link box.
  • Make sure all cables are connected firmly, especially the HDMI cables. Unplug and plug back all the cables might help.
  • Update the video drivers to the latest version. Make sure that headset, controllers and base stations are all up to date.
  • Uninstall and install Steam and SteamVR if needed.
  • Try the USB 2.0 port instead of USB 3.0.
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  • 11 months later...

This is a really inadequate description of an inadeqaute error message: you're customers are not that stupid. They know they need current drivers and connect the cables in the right way. When eveything else works but the Vive won't connect, it is the Vive and its drivers.

Please, please provide more possible solutions, many more. I'm using a GTX1070 and I guess the issue with this card is different from people using an AMD. 

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  • 7 months later...

SOLVED. I have had this error many times and have tried re installing etc etc. The fix that works for me is to make sure the vive mains power plug is unplugged BEFORE you turn on your pc. Then plug in the mains power plug, you will hear the computer make an audible noise confirming device detected and it always works.....no more headaches. Pls copy this to the various forums if it works for you.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello all,


I have been struggling with the 208 error for weeks now and nothing was working, I had tried every single troubleshooting solution out there. Today, I popped off the cover on the headset itself and saw where the cords connect to it and just to check I was pushing on the HDMI and I felt it go in all the way like it was only half plugged in. I can only guess that over time the motion of the cords in the headset can jiggle the connections loose. Once I restarted my computer the headset worked. I don't know if this is your problem but it's worth taking a look at, best of luck!

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  • 1 month later...

Hey everyone! I literally just made an account to post my fix for this so here goes.


I tried all the usual fixes for this error after researching for a few hours to no avail, some examples of what I tried were:

  • Unplugging and replugging everything
  • Updating GPU drivers
  • SteamVR re-Install
  • Disabling SteamVR direct mode (no idea why that was suggested as a fix)
  • Using the orange hdmi and usb cables plugged directly to the PC I/O

None of the above worked.

Until I stumbled across a video of how to replace the vive headstap and found that there are cables you can remove at on the HMD itself.


I soon noticed that once I had taken off the cover plate that holds the cables in, the HDMI cable was loose.

After pushing the hdmi cable firmly into the HMD and placing the cover back on, a quick reinstall of SteamVR and reset of the headset made it detect! Hell yeah!



If this fixed your issue please comment! I would love to know that I helped solved others issues :)


Enjoy gaming in VR!




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  • 2 weeks later...

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