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Vive display turns black after 1-3 minutes of playtime - solved


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I'd like to add my story.. it might help others with the same issue.


Two days ago, I was running into the same or at least a very similar black display issue as described in some other threads.


I could launch any VR application as usual, but within 1-3 minutes of play time, the vive display went black (and the LED on the housing switched from green to red) for a couple of seconds.. then the display turns on and shows the proper image for the fraction of a second, turns black again and this will repeat until manually quitting steamVR. The tracking still works, because the mirrored image on the monitor is fine. Only the vives display turns black. When SteamVR is restarted, everything is back to normal but the same issue kicks in again after 1-3 minutes of playtime. 100% reproducable..


After googling for a while I found this thread and a lot of others with similar issues.

A couple of days ago I updated my nvidia drivers. A day or so before I was using VR without issues, so the driver update is really the only thing I can remember that changed.

With all the information from this and other threads, I was pretty confident that the drivers cause the issue, so I went back from 397.93 to 388.71 (I even did the cleanest possible uninstall using DDU) but that did not solve the problem!


I then went through a lot of tests with different software combinations:


steam vr uninstall, a lot of different nvidia drivers from 385.28 to 398.11, usb driver uninstall/reinstall, unplugging everything, setting display sleep settings in steamVR, trying differen usb ports, steam beta, steamVR beta, turning off steamVR home.. nothing helped. The vive display went black after 1-3 minutes of playtime.


The issue turned out to be caused by an adapter from HDMI to Displayport that I was using to connect the vive to my GPU. The vive was connected with the 3-1 cable to the linkbox and an HDMI cable from the linkbox was connected to an HDMI-to-Displayport adabter and that was plugged into my GPU. Sounds unneccesary complicated, but that setup worked perfectly for the last 5 months. This is why I did not question it..


I have no idea why this changed after the nvidia driver update, but as rolling back to older drivers didn't help, it might be an unlucky accident.


I'm now running Windows 7, Geforce GTX 1080 ti with nvidia driver 398.11, normal steam and normal steamVR installation with the vive beeing connected to my GPUs HDMI port (through the linkbox) and everything seems to be stable.


So for anybody running into similar issues: I'd recommend plugging the vive's 3-1 cable HDMI connector directly into an HDMI port of your GPU (bypassing the linkbox) as one of your first checks if the issue is related to the HDMI signal chain..


I'll report back, if I run into the issue again..


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