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Vive install experience


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This isn't a technical support question as much as it is a rant about my not so pleasant first experience with Vive. I feel like I have to vent this to get it out of me, and perhaps this information can be used to improve the experience for the future.

I think I should also mention I'm recovering from a quite bad cold, and am tired and less patient than normally. I was extra tired today after having walked the 4 kilometers to pick up the package and back (I didn't want to ride my bike as I start cough from physical activities).

The first thing I did after opening the box was looking for information of what all the components were and how to connect them to each other. Not easily finding this on the website or printed in the box was rather frustrating, but I eventually found a third party article that was to some help.

The paper in the box telling the name of each component was good to have, but not very clear as some of the things it listed as one item were in fact separate parts placed in individual plastic bags. Also the numbering on the paper didn't in any way map to the numbers on the actual cords, and several pieces has no names written on them. Some of the images were also hard to read. Several components were also extremely similar, but not identical, like the power adapter to the link box and those to the base stations.

While trying to make sense of the hardware I downloaded and started installing the software. The software just kept getting stuck at "Preparing..." after I had clicked Sign in. No feedback whatsoever was given as of why or whether it is normal to have to wait, just a spinning wheel saying preparing. After a few attempts I realized my firewall was blocking the installer, something I probably can't blame Vive for, but still odd as this firewall never has silently blocked anything before.

After disabling the firewall and continue with the software it turned out the documentation of the hardware and information about what cord goes in where was hidden here all the time. It would have been quite good to know this so I hadn't wasted time looking for a written install guide, or tried to examine the hardware myself. Just a simple note in the box or on the download page saying this documentation is integrated in the software installer would do. To me installing drivers and plug in cords are different activities, and while I have nothing against integrating them, it would at least be nice to have this communicated.

I was already rather annoyed by how badly the link box communicated what the two sides where for, before I had even found the instructions (the sides are labeled on the top of the box, not on the sides themselves where you actually look, and labeling one side VR makes little sense - it's all VR - it should be called Headset or something). And what is the link box for? What is it doing that couldn't be done either in the headset or in the computer?

At this point I'm annoyed and slightly frustrated, but not angry. Things change though when a Steam installer suddenly starts. Steam is a great software if you play games a lot; especially a lot of differiert games. That description doesn't fit me though. I play few games, and when I do it's at my friends house with her, not here on this computer. I do not want Steam. I repeat: I do not want Steam. I'm planning to use Vive for architectural design, not gaming.

Closing the steam installer however leads to the Vive installer saying installing Steam failed, as if it happened by accident. No. I closed it because I do not want steam. Anyhow, I accept getting Steam installed on my machine as it seems to be the only way to proceed with the Vive installer.

This is were things starts getting frustrating for real. I have to create a Steam account and sign in to Steam, to continue installing Vive. If I cancel the vive installer says installing Steam failed, and Steam is downloaded anew. Not just installed anew, but downloaded again.

I try registering an account but it fails as I get a message saying my email is already in use. I have no memory having signed up for Steam, but it's not impossible given I've had the email for over 10 years. I try a few different passwords but to no avail.

I try to reset the password but that fails too as I don't know my Steam username. At this point I'm also forced to fill in a God-f***ing-forbid-it captcha to prove my humanity on every little step I take. This is frustrating. This is proper frustrating. And as always the captcha fails on 4 attempts out of 5, even if the characters entered seams to match the image. Did I say this is frustrating?

I also try to use my old semi-throwaway hotmail account to register a new Steam account but it seems like the confirmation email is never received (I wouldn't expect hotmail to actually work).

Then I try to register a new throwaway Google account. So I can register a throwaway Steam Account. So I can install Vive. Yes, this is frustrating. I struggle to come up with a name that isn't already taken but that is permitted by Google. Apparently they do not allow any satans or similar words in the name. Eventually I successfully register eddfgbdrlkmfdjvbdhbvhvbdhr@gmail.com. So I can create a throwaway Steam account. So I can finish my Vive install. Yes, this is frustrating.

After successfully setting up a throwaway mail account comes setting up the throwaway steam account. Again with a requirement for a unique name and again with those devilish captchas all over the place. This takes several tries as Steam doesn't support copying my random key-mashing from the password field to the password confirmation field. Instead I have to mash some keys in an external notepad window, and copy from there to both fields.

At this point I'm angry. I have been forced to take detour after detour after detour rather than just get on with what I'm actually trying to accomplish.

For a while things actually work and I get less tense as I plug in a bunch of cords. A hell of a lot of cords. Cords all over the place. Cords getting tangled with my mouse and loudspeaker cords.

When i plug in the link box to the computer the **bleep** hits the fan. Suddenly my music just dies. Vive shamelessly steals the sound from my system and eats it up, rather than letting it keep play in my loudspeaker. To this point I've kept my sanity through hearing familiar music but instead it becomes dead silent. Unplugging the cords doesn't help. Not until I restart my system I get the sound back.

This is the point where I give up. I unplug everything, puts it back into the box and uninstall all the newly installed software. I am not pleased. I am not happy. I have not got a good first impression of Vive (not counting the few glimpses I've get at it at software conferences, where I've loved it).

Now I've placed the vive box behind my dirty laundry in the corner of the room. I'll look into it again on Monday, and hopefully have more success then, but right now I'm fed up with this.

Rant over.

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  • 4 years later...

Thank you for sharing your experience with the Vive, and I am sorry to hear about the difficulties you encountered while installing the product. It is frustrating when a product does not provide clear instructions and when installing software is more complicated than it needs to be. On a different note, have you tried using Vive for Off Road simulation or design? It could be an interesting application for the product.

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