How To Patch Your Oculus Rift

Update, 3/8/18, 6:52am PT: In the wee hours of the morning, Oculus finally released a fix for yesterday’s certificate fiasco. Oculus solved that problem by posting the patch on its website and notifying its client base that it exists and explaining how to install it.

You can find the new patch, dubbed "OculusPatchMarch2018.exe", here. Oculus also posted installation instructions on its support page, although it’s a straightforward process, so you won’t likely need help. Just download the patch from the Oculus website, run the executable, and allow Windows to open it. If your antivirus steps in, disable the software to let the patch run. Click the repair button and wait for the repair process to complete.

The next time you open the Oculus app, you’ll see a prompt to update the application. Let the update run to install the permanent fix with a new signed certificate.  

Oculus said that the manual patch is necessary only for people who can’t open the Oculus App. If you don’t get an error when you open the Oculus software, you should receive the update automatically.

Along with the patch release notification, Oculus issued an apology to everyone who was affected by yesterday’s conundrum. The company also announced that it would be giving $15 store credit to everyone who used their Rift on or after February 1, 2018.

Update, 3/7/18, 5:56pm PT: Oculus posted a second update, which reads:

Hey everyone - We're still working hard to resolve the cert issue. We're in the process of integrating an updated cert. Unfortunately, pushing the update out to affected users has some added complexity, as the expired cert blocks our standard software update path. We're working through the options now, and we expect to have more details to share later this evening.

Oculus’s second update gives us deeper insight into the problem that it's facing. The fix isn’t a simple matter of signing a new certificate and pushing it out to the masses--Oculus now faces a problem with distribution. The expired signature doesn’t just prevent everyone from using their Rifts; it also prevents Oculus from pushing an update to correct the issue.

Oculus could release a patch on its website that you have to download manually, and it will surely replace the installation binaries as soon as possible, but how would it communicate the change to everyone who owns a Rift? And so here we are.

Update, 3/7/18, 3:44pm PT: Oculus has posted an update, which reads:

Hey everyone - This is an issue with our software certification that we're still actively working on. For security, we use a certificate to ensure that the software you receive actually comes from Oculus. That certificate has expired, and we're looking at a few different ways to resolve the issue. We’ll update you with the latest info as available. We recommend you wait until we provide an official fix. Thanks for your patience.

This is, however, something of a non-update update. The fact that a security cert was at fault was already known. What we can extrapolate from this bit, though--"we're looking at a few different ways to resolve the issue"--seems to indicate that a complete fix is not coming in the immediate future. We wouldn't be surprised to see a fix get pushed late tonight or early tomorrow, though; certainly, Oculus' software engineers are all-hands-on-deck until this is solved.

Original article, 3/7/18, 11:30am PT:

Oculus Rift users who are accustomed to staring into black boxes to view gorgeous virtual worlds are presently looking into those black boxes and seeing nothing at all. The Oculus Runtime Service is not working, which is preventing people from using their headsets. Posters on the official Oculus forums have shared screenshots of an error message stating as much.    

Oculus has remained almost entirely silent on the issue, other than stating on its official forum (as well as on Twitter), that:

We are aware of and actively investigating an issue impacting ability to access Rift software. Our teams apologize for any inconvenience this may be causing you and appreciate your patience while we work on a resolution. We'll share more updates here as we have them. Thanks.

Although Oculus has not publicly stated the cause of the issue, multiple forum posters have shared screenshots and information showing that the culprit is an expired certificate. A couple of forum users stated that, specifically, the error lies with the OculusAppFramework.dll.

Oculus responded to our questions by stating that the company doesn’t have anything further to share for now beyond what it’s already posted publicly, but it appears that an update to fix the problem may be coming soon. (No, we don’t know what “soon” means in this case.)

We’ll keep our eyes out for the fix, when it’s available, and will update this article accordingly. You can follow along for yourself here and here.

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  • clonazepam
    Well good on them after the fact for the manual patch file (that's hilarious though) and the $15 store credit. Good way to bounce back from a pretty embarrassing situation.
  • alextheblue
    That's sad, and embarrassing.

    I've eventually buy a headset, but it's probably going to be one of the MR-compatible units, especially since they're working on Steam support. Might wait for second gen... depends when the new MechWarrior comes out... :P