A Routine Security Feature on PCs Disabled Oculus Rift Headsets on March 7.

Lapsed Security Certificate Leaves VR Headset Users Fuming

Tech news outlets and forums were ablaze on March 7, 2018 as PC users around the world discovered that their Oculus Rift VR headsets were rendered inoperable, notified by the Windows error dialogue “Can’t Reach Oculus Runtime Service.” Users across Oculus’ online fanbase reported in various forums and subreddits that the bug caught them by surprise, with many expressing frustration about being in the middle of work or play when the found their headsets suddenly “bricked,” with some reporting that they’d initially tried to restart or reinstall their Oculus software to no avail.

As news of the bug spread, Facebook-owned Oculus VR officially acknowledged the error, prompting hopes that the company would issue an update to fix to the problem soon:

Additionally, another Oculus VR employee responded on the company’s official forums with a similar update:

Apparently, the “Oculus Runtime Service” bug is the result of an expired security certificate on OculusAppFramework.dll, a crucial part of Oculus Rift’s software. As a security measure, Windows prevents the software from running with an expired certificate, leading to the global Oculus Rift crash. While the problem is a fairly straightforward error that will likely be a quick fix for the company, users across the web noted that such a simple oversight —as well as the lack of a swift response from the company— is an inexcusable mistake by such a large and established company with its worldwide user base.

As Oculus Rift users await an official fix, however, the VR community has already begin to recommend a variety of DIY fixes to the problem, from the unwise recommendation of disabling some of Windows’ key security features, to a simpler option of resetting Windows’ time and date before March 7, 2018 so that system recognizes the expired version of OculusAppFramework.dll as current, a process described in detail by redditor Mace404: