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No error messages, all hardware is detected, headset display not turning on


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Okay, this one is a doozy.  I've spent weeks on this issue with little to no progress.  Let me explain this from the beginning.

I saved up some money and wanted to buy a Vive because my friends each had one, and because it was upgrade-able with leg trackers.  I didn't have the money to buy one brand new, so I went on ebay.  I found a seller who was selling one.  It was, according to the listing, fully tested, guaranteed to work, in great shape, and included everything.  The seller had a 100% satisfaction rating from the 2,000+ sales he'd done, so I bought it.  After it arrived, I set it all up, and major problems started happening.  For one, nothing was displaying in the headset.  Additionally, SteamVR was giving an HDCP error.  Plus, the screen did turn on twice, only to display a white screen with some weird red lines.

At this point I thought "Oh, the screen and its connectors must be damaged", so I contacted the seller and told him this.  He sent me another headset, just the headset part.  I hooked it all up, and the same problems started happening again.  The only difference was that the headset didn't display anything, not even those weird red lines on a white screen.  I realized that something SteamVR-related was the culprit, not the headsets.  I did the first thing I think to do in these kinds of situations and look online.  I found plenty of solutions, none of which worked.  So I started trying... everything.  A week of doing nothing but trying solutions passed and all the problems are still happening.

Today, I decided to completely uninstall both Steam and SteamVR from my computer, reinstall them, then try again.  To my surprise, this fixed the error messages and made my computer recognize all the hardware!  Perfect, except that the headset's display still doesn't display anything.  Previously, launching any VR game would cause the game to crash, probably because of what the error messages were telling me.  However, now launching any VR game works and it doesn't crash.

I should mention that the trackers, base stations, cables, controllers, and link box all work perfectly.  If I enable VR View in SteamVR, I can see what the headset should be displaying, and moving the controllers and the headset does what you'd expect it to.  Also, my GPU usage shoots up to 80%, something I'd expect, except nothing is displaying inside the headset.  I'm at wits end.  I've honestly and truly tried everything, but this is the furthest I've gotten.  No errors, all hardware detected, games work, but no headset display.  I opened up a support ticket before I fixed the error messages, and I've waited a week for a response, so I decided to post my past and current issues here.  Can someone please help me?  I know that setting up Vives is harder than other headset brands, but I didn't expect to have to spend weeks and it still isn't set up.

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Okay, bit of an update, the HDCP error has returned.  It seems that it only disappeared for a short time.  Now I'm back at square one.  Here's a pastebin with all of SteamVR's logs in it:

https://pastebin.com/jQGjf45A

Additionally, here's the specs of my gaming rig:

Intel Core i7-6700K

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080

16 GB DDR4 RAM

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Build 18363

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@SlyCooperReloadCoded If you're using an original Vive, I would recommend preforming a linkbox bypass. In short, you plug the orange USB/HMDI cables from the HMD's 3-in-1 directly into your PC/GPU rather than into the linkbox. You still need to keep the orange power lead plugged into the linkbox to ensure you have power.

It sounds dumb but we've seen similar behaviors when people plug the HDMI cable into their motherboard rather than their GPU.

What's your motherboard manufacturer?

I checked your logs, this is repeated hundreds/thousands of times: EventWriteString Severe: [NvAPI] Invalid frameIndex: 0 last=1098. Not a ton of info about that bug but it seems GPU related. Are you on recent Nvidia drivers?

The linkbox bypass is my go-to recommendation as a first step for these kinds of issues because it specifically helps workaround HDCP issues.

 

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I'm on the most recent NVIDIA drivers, and I've had it plugged into the GPU.  I know the difference.  Also, I did try bypassing the link box like you said, but then SteamVR gives a different error "Headset not plugged in" or something like that, then the headset isn't detected at all.  Viveport still detects it without the link box, but SteamVR doesn't.  I don't know what the motherboard is, but the computer itself is an Alienware Aurora R5.

 

Edit: this is the info that Windows 10 shows about my motherboard.  I obscured the serial number because it might be dangerous to share that:
https://imgur.com/a/tfymqFb

Edited by SlyCooperReloadCoded
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Okay, I found some reports of that NvAPI error happening when at least one of the GTX 1080's DisplayPorts is also being used by something.  This is true for me - my GTX 1080 only has one HDMI port, and since the Vive doesn't work with adapters, I had to get a Male HDMI to Male DisplayPort cable for my monitor.  There's no other way.  Do I have to buy a new computer?

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Okay, I have an interesting update.  I got the headset to work for a few minutes.  Every time I launched SteamVR, I would see some sort of logo, and launching VRChat worked.  However, about a minute later, it stopped working, displayed the same error as before, and the light turned red again.  Now I can't get it to work again.  So the headset works, and I got it to work for a few minutes, but a Vive should work until I decide to stop using it.  The mystery deepens.  Also, it's been a week since I sent Vive support all the info needed to solve this, but I haven't heard back from them yet.  I hope this forum is more useful.

Edited by SlyCooperReloadCoded
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Alright, you can now consider this issue as solved.  Like most technical issues, the simplest solution is almost always the correct one.  In my case, the solution was the HDMI cable - the HDMI part of the 3-in-1 cable got broken somehow.  I'm using a random one from my house and it works fine.  I've ordered a better cable, and I'll be in business.

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