It may only be March of 2018 but when the time comes for us to look back on what happened this during this year and chart the highs and the lows for virtual reality (VR) over the previous 365 days we will look back to yesterday and say March 7th was definitely one for the lows column. With not just Oculus being incredibly embarrassed but the technology itself having one of its worst days in recent memory.
If you missed yesterday’s fun and games, Oculus woke up to find that, owing to a security certificate expiring, practically every Oculus Rift headset around the world had suddenly been bricked overnight. Users being greeted with a “Can’t Reach Oculus Runtime Service” error message. The expired certificate not only causing users to tear out their hair, but Oculus too, as they admitted in a later update that fixing the issue was proving to be problematic due to it effectively locking off their normal way of updating.
We're still working hard to resolve the issue & are in the process of integrating an updated cert. This has some added complexity, as the expired cert blocks our standard update path. We're working through options & expect to have more details tonight. https://t.co/9F6hz3tcfI
— Oculus (@oculus) March 8, 2018
Thankfully, as of this morning a patch fixing the issue is now available from Oculus and should be easy to implement so long as you are able to open the Oculus desktop app. However, a step-by-step process is also available for those who cannot. You can find the solution, care of Oculus’ Support page, below.
If you currently have the Oculus app installed:
- Go to https://www.oculus.com/rift-patch/.
- Click Download Install Patch to download OculusPatchMarch2018.exe.
- Open OculusPatchMarch2018.exe.
- If Windows asks you if you’re sure you want to open this file, click Yes.
- If Windows Defender prompts “Windows protected your PC”, click More info and then click Run anyway.
- If your antivirus software restricts the file from opening, temporarily disable your AV and continue.
- Select Repair and confirm you would like to repair the Oculus software.
- Allow the repair process to run, download and install.
- Launch the Oculus app.
Shortly after the repair you will be prompted for an update. Please complete the update. The download and update may take up to 10 minutes depending on network connection.
If you uninstalled the Oculus app from your computer:
- Go to https://www.oculus.com/setup.
- Click Download Oculus Software to download OculusSetup.exe.
- Open OculusSetup.exe and follow the onscreen instructions to install the latest version of the Oculus app.
Should your Oculus Rift continue to have issues after this, as some have noted on social media, we’d recommend contacting Oculus Support further about the problem.
An additional statement was issued by the Facebook owned company in an email put out later this morning that also sets out details as to the compensation Oculus Rift users – or recently active ones, at least – can expect.
“We’re very sorry for the disruption today. We’re providing a $15 Oculus Store credit (or currency equivalent) to people impacted by this issue. If you used Rift on or after February 1st, 2018 this credit will be added to your account automatically within the next 7 days. See this page  for info about Oculus Store credits… Sorry again for any inconvenience this may have caused, and thanks for choosing Rift.”
That said, Reddit users on r/Oculus have noted that the issue could rear its head again in the future as the certificate is now updated to March 11th 2020 but is “still not timestamped properly”. Though there is the possibility this is subsequently corrected. Whatever the case, hopefully for all concerned we won’t be recalling this particular story in a couple of years.
VRFocus will bring you more updates on the situation should there be any further developments.