DK2 Setup and Troubleshooting Guide

Posted on October 20, 2014

NOTE: As of 11/13/15, AltspaceVR recommends using Oculus Runtime 0.8. There are known issues with 0.6 and 0.7. You can download the latest Oculus Runtime here.

VR is cutting edge technology, a brand new medium. This fact is reinforced the moment you try to set up your Oculus Rift development kit – you will find yourself tweaking settings on your PC that you have not touched in years, if ever.

We’d like to share some of the lessons we have learned. 

As a VR software company, we have had to assemble and troubleshoot dozens of VR setups around the office and on the road. Setting up a DK2 can be tricky business, but the payoff is certainly worth it!

Below is a video that outlines the setup process, along with a troubleshooting resource to address some of the common stumbling blocks. Have you solved an issue not listed here? Shoot me an email at bruce@altvr.com with the subject line “DK2 Troubleshooting” and I will add it in!

 

My Oculus Rift DK2 does not get power or picture.
Known Issue: MacBook Pros
Some MacBook Pros will not send a video signal to the Rift. There is currently no known solution.
Verify Connections
Verify all connections, including the USB and HDMI connections directly to the Rift that are covered by a faceplate.
Cable Swap
Swap out the HDMI and USB cables to verify if the cable connection is a problem.
Weak or Cripmed Connection
Check the length of the cables for crimping or a faulty connection, particularly around the sync box. Some units have been known to have weak connections.
Cable Replacement
It is certainly possible to operate your DK2 with a replacement HDMI cable, a replacement USB cable, and connecting the camera sync cable directly to the DK2 (into the port that is covered by a rubber protector). However, according to Oculus an issue with the USB and/or HDMI cable requires a replacement of the entire unit due to the HMD, Camera, and cables being paired before shipment. Contacting Oculus for a replacement is probably the best course of action.

 

My Oculus Rift or Oculus Camera is not detected by the system.
USB 2.0 port
Ensure that the Rift and/or Camera is plugged into a USB 2.0 port. The DK2 currently has issues with USB 3.0 ports and hybrid USB ports common on gaming laptops. If using a gaming laptop or unsure of port type, use a USB 2.0 hub to connect the Rift.
Video Cable Reconnect
Disconnect and reconnect the Rift video cable (HDMI or DVI) only. You can also try disconnecting and reconnecting the video cable for your monitor if you have a desktop. Some users have experienced success with this, reason for success is unknown.
Conflicting USB Device
Make sure that there are not other USB devices connected that conflict with the Oculus camera or head tracking. You can also try moving conflicting USB devices to a seperate USB bus. Some webcams (Logitech C920), and accessories (XBox 360 Kinect, XBox 360 controller wireless dongle) have been known to confilct with Rift headtracking and/or detection.
Conflicting Software
Make sure that there are no software programs running in the background that conflict with the DK2 runtime. Reported applications that cause conflicts include f.lux, Nike+ software and Zonealarm.
Did you turn it on and off again?
Seriously, start over. Uninstall the DK2 runtime, unplug the Rift, and restart the computer. This has inexpicably worked much more often than you would expect.

 

My Oculus Rift headtracking is not functional.
Known Issue: Logitech Conflicts
Some drivers for Logitech keyboards, mice, and headsets will conflict with Oculus Rift headtracking. In many cases, installing an older version of the Logitech driver will avoid the conflict.
Hardware or Software conflict
Ensure that there are no hardware or software programs running that conflict with Oculus headtracking. Make sure that there are not other USB devices connected that conflict with the Oculus camera or head tracking. You can also try moving conflicting USB devices to a seperate USB bus. Some webcams (Logitech C920) and accessories (XBox 360 Kinect, XBox 360 controller wireless dongle) have been known to confilct with Rift headtracking and/or detection. Also, reported applications that cause conflicts include f.lux, Nike+ software, and Zonealarm.
USB 2.0 port
Ensure that the Rift and/or Camera is plugged into a USB 2.0 port. The DK2 currently has issues with USB 3.0 ports and hybrid USB ports common on gaming laptops. If using a gaming laptop or unsure of port type, use a USB 2.0 hub to connect the Rift.
Camera Sync Cable
Positional tracking will be inactive if the camera is not connected properly. Ensure that the sync cable between the Oculus camera and the sync box is properly attached. Also keep in mind that some users have been able to push the connector into the camera with enough force to damage the sync port and/or camera housing. DO NOT use too much force when connecting the sync cable to the camera.
App built with older SDK
Ensure that the app is built with SDK v0.3.2 or later. If built with v0.3.2, make sure to pause the Oculus v0.4 runtime (In the Oculus Configuration Utility, go to Tools>Advanced>Pause Service). If the app is built with an older SDK and/or intended for DK1, it is incompatible with the DK2 at this time.

 

Most experiences crash, give blank screens, or do not run.
Firmware
Upgrade/reinstall the DK2 firmware. It may be beneficial to reinstall even with the Rift firmware is already up to date, especially when switching computers.
Visual C++ Redistributable (Windows)
Install/Re-install the Visual C++ Redistributable (Windows Only).
Restart
After completing Rift installation, it is a good idea to restart your computer and begin fresh.
Display Mode
By default, the DK2 runtime utility is in “Direct to HMD” display mode. Many applications have problems with this display mode and will not run. It is recommended that you change the display mode to “Extend Desktop to HMD”.

 

'The Oculus Service is Not Available' message when I attempt to open the Config Utility. (Windows)
Manually Open the Utility
  • Shutdown Oculus app in the taskbar.
  • Navigate to C:Program Files (x86)OculusService
  • Run OVRService_x86.exe
  • Navigate too C:Program Files (x86)OculusTool
  • Run OculusConfigUtil.exe
Conflict with Firewall/Antivirus
Ensure that there is no conflict with antivirus or firewall software. Zonealarm has been known to cause conflicts.

 

In Direct to HMD display mode, most experiences have judder, vertical and horizontal screen tear, and/or fatal crashes.
Known Issue
Most users have issues with Direct to HMD mode. No concrete solution at this time, it is recommended that you use the “Extend Desktop to HMD” display mode.
Multi Monitor Systems
Some users have reported success in Direct to HMD mode after unplugging additional monitors. Attempt to use Direct to HMD mode with just one monitor connected to your system.
Connector Type
Some users have reported success in Direct to HMD mode after changing the type of video connection for the DK2 (for example, using the DVI adapter instead of straight HDMI).

 

Most experiences have significant judder.
What is Judder?
Judder is a combination of smearing and strobing, a combined effect of “choppiness” when you move your head back and forth in the HMD. At this time, one usually sees this issue when the frequency or framerate of an app is out of sync with the frequency of the DK2 panel. This sync is very important due to the low persistence feature (a very rapid strobing effect that increases scene stability) of the DK2. Judder can get bad enough to make an app unplayable. You can learn more about judder in HMDs in this blog post by Michael Abrash.
Display Mode
By default, the DK2 runtime utility is in “Direct to HMD” display mode. Many applications have problems with this display mode and will run poorly. It is recommended that you change the display mode to “Extend Desktop to HMD”.
Open App on Rift's Display
Sometimes an app will refuse to acknowledge the Rift’s display, even to the extent of failing to give resolution options that are compatible with the DK2. In this case, you can force the app to open on the Rift display instead of your main display. There are several methods to make this happen, described in the video below. On Windows, there are a few apps that will do this for you, such as VR Game Manager or Virtual Desktop. On Mac, the process is much simpler – simply drag the folder over to the DK2 display and open the app there (you may have to squint through your Rift with one eye to do this).
Make DK2 the Main Display
In many cases, a system will base its refresh rate on the primary display in spite of app settings, preference settings, or control panel settings. If your regular primary display has a refresh rate of 60Hz, the app may be locked at 60fps. 60fps on the DK2’s 75Hz screen usually results in severe judder. To ensure that the app adheres to 75fps and the 75Hz refresh rate of the rift, you can make the DK2 your primary display. Once again, VR Game Manager will handle this for you in Windows.
Change Resolution/Frequency of Primary Display
Most displays have a refresh rate of 60Hz. In some cases, you may be able to lower the resolution on your regular primary display, and then set the refresh rate to 75Hz to match the DK2 display.
Unity Quality Settings
If attempting to run a Unity title, experiment with quality settings. Sometimes a higher setting will run better than a lower one, depending on how the app was built. Hold “alt” while opening a “DirectToRift” executable to force a settings window to pop up.
Aero (Windows 7,Vista)
Some users have reported differences in performance by enabling or disabling Windows Aero (an interface that enhances the look of Windows). You can disable Windows Aero by following this tutorial.
Force DirectX 9 or 11. (Windows)
Some users see better results by forcing the app to load with a particular version of DirectX. Add “-force-d3d9” or “-force-d3d11” to the Target field of a shortcut.
Alternate Mirroring (Mac)
On Mac, you can trick a Unity application into adhering to the DK2’s frequency:

  • Mirror your displays in the Display preferences.
  • Open the app to bring up the Unity preloader.
  • Choose 1920×1080 resolution, and select Windowed in the Unity preloader.
  • Deactivate mirroring.
  • Press play in the Unity preloader.
  • Drag the window over to the Rift display. You can create a shortcut for this using Better Touch Tool. (Maximize window on next monitor)

 

NVIDIA GPU Specific Issues
Coming soon.
Info regarding tips and issues with NVIDIA graphics cards.

 

AMD GPU Specific Issues
Coming soon
Info regarding tips and issues with AMD graphics cards.

 

Performance Data & Specs
Coming soon
I am gathering data on performance with different laptops and desktops with various specs.

 

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