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Oculus Quest 2 issues from sitting too long

Oculus Quest 2 issues from sitting too long

Oculus is doing a black Friday sale for 2023. I have an Oculus Quest 2, but hadn’t used it in over a year. I plugged it in to charge it back up and browse the store. Unfortunately, the store app screen told me it couldn’t load the store.

I went to setting->Wifi and manually connected to my home network. Duh! (so I thought) Even after this, the store app was blank and would tell me it couldn’t display anything. Time to start debugging.

  • The wifi would connect and said it had excellent wifi signal, but limited connectivity.
    • I tested my other wireless devices and they had no trouble connecting to the wifi and could browse the net normally.
    • I unplugged the mesh network repeaters around my house in case it was picking up a weak signal from one of those. No change.
    • I tried setting up my iPhone with as a wireless hotspot and connected to that. I got the same strong signal, but limited connectivity.
    • I checked the IP address of my Oculus in Settings, and I could ping the device just fine. If I turned the headset off, I couldn’t ping it. It seemed like it was connected ok.
    • I tried unplugging other devices from my wifi in case there was an IP conflict anywhere. Same problem.
  • I tried connecting the quest with a USB cable but I still could not get updates nor see anything in the store app or main menu.
  • Despite not being used for 2 years, when I went to system->updates, it showed no updates available. Something is fishy, there had to be updates.
  • I opened the in-headset browser and it would tell me that I could not browse because the date was wrong. It was set to 5:00am Sept 17, 2037. Whoa.
    • There is NO way to change the date/time in the settings or anywhere else I could find.

It turns out, others have seen this issue too. Their Oculus fast forwards to the future mysteriously and then connectivity to the store/web/updates doesn’t seem to work after that. You need to get the date fixed, but there’s no obvious way to do it.

Solution: Factory Reset

In the end, I decided to do a factory reset (Hold the power and volume buttons while booting) because it had been well over a year since I used it last and I figured it would be good to have a clean start. However, there is the option of using side-loaded apps (see below).

Unfortunately, even the factory reset gave me a few headaches. First, the headset isn’t always obvious when it sleeps vs actually powers off. My first attempt I didn’t power off all the way and just woke from sleep and I didn’t get the reset menu holding the power+volume buttons down. I went to settings menu and shut the device down in the headset to be sure.

After that, I was then able to cold boot and get into the factory reset menu. I selected factory reset and waited for it to clean the device and the progress bar indicated the reset was complete. The screen went black (but still powered), but didn’t reboot. I let it set a few minutes, then decided to manually reboot with the power button. Fingers crossed.

The first reboot I got the meta logo, but shortly after that the screen went blank (still powered) but no reboot. I let it set for a few minutes then manually powered it off using the power button – again.

On the second reboot, I got the meta logo, and then it started animating. That’s a good sign. Then the welcome page came up and I could connect to wifi and start updating.

During the update phase (1/2) while the progress bar was moving, I took the headset off to read more instructions. When I put it back on to see how far it was, the display was a patterned garbled static. I took it off and let it sit for a minute, then tried again. The display came back up and the update phase 1 of 2 completed normally.


The bad part about a factory reset is you lose all your installed games. I had to go back in and start installing all of them again. What a pain, because it wasn’t a very fast process.

Another option is to load an app that will update your time via an alternate Oculus app store called Sidequest. Sidequest allows you to load your own apps – including an ‘Open Settings’ app that allows you to update your date/time.


The Oculus is really just an Android device underneath. This means if you have developer mode enabled and have the Android developer kit installed, you can use ADB commands. I haven’t tried this, but supposedly this will work:

adb shell am start -a android.settings.SETTINGS

If you have Sidequest loaded, you can use this:

adb shell am start -a android.intent.action.VIEW -d -e uri com.oculus.vrshell/.MainActivity


Classic ghost stories in VR

Classic ghost stories in VR

One area in which VR seems to land well is scary experiences. Everything from walking on a tiny plank hundreds of feet in the air, to madness, to the isolation of space.

As a lover of classic ghost stories from the Edwardian and Victorian eras, I applaud this attempt by Abi Salvesen to retell H.G. Wells’ The Red Room as a VR experience.

Give it a watch. Or curl up with a cup of warm drink, start a fire, and give an audio version a listen.

With a collective gasp

With a collective gasp

How did the WWDC audience react to the $3499 price tag of the Apple Vision Pro? It wasn’t the usual gasp of wonder, but it was a collective gasp. ūüôā
Virtual Production environments – at home?

Virtual Production environments – at home?

Virtual Production is really hitting it’s legs in real movies like the Mandalorian and replacing green-screen flows. It is, however, ridiculously expensive and requires massive spaces to work in.

Cinematographer and developer Matt Workman breaks down how he used a mix of real-world camera equipment and 3D knowledge in Unreal Engine to set up an indie virtual production studio in his house. He talks about his remote collaboration workflow as well. Learn more at

Orbital VR

Orbital VR

I’ve already written about how movie houses are often giving up on greenscreen and using giant LED displays along with game engines (like Unity) to control what is displayed based on camera movement. It gives much more realistic lighting, better sight lines, no green-screen removal artifacts, and a host of other benefits.

Orbital Studios is one of the houses doing this kind of work. They have some good videos on their website.

They’re definitely still defining these production environments and using some interesting things like Quasar lighting to create light zones around the actors:

Dinner Party VR experience

Dinner Party VR experience

Dinner Party is a VR movie experience that tells the story of Barney and Betty Hill, an American couple who claimed they were abducted by extraterrestrials in a rural portion of the state of New Hampshire from September 19 to 20, 1961. It was the first widely publicized report of an alien abduction in the United States. Their story was adapted into a best-selling 1966 book The Interrupted Journey and a 1975 television film The UFO Incident.

Now, it’s been turned into a VR movie experience. You start by going into a real world 1960’s era dining room set, sit at the table, don your VR goggles, and watch the experience in 360 around you.


Information about how they created the experience:

Waaaay back in 2007

Waaaay back in 2007

I remember seeing this originally way back in the day – and I’m still a little baffled why this hasn’t caught on in the age of gigantic TV’s. Probably because head tracking isn’t exactly perfect just yet? While not as immersive as a full VR headset, this does provide a full vr experience without the headset, glasses, or any other intrusive headgear.

Johnny Chung Lee (at Carnegie Mellon at the time, now at Google) used the infrared camera in the Wii remote and a head mounted sensor bar (two IR LEDs), to accurately track the location of your head and render view dependent images on the screen. This effectively transforms your display into a portal to a virtual environment. The display properly reacts to head and body movement as if it were a real window creating a realistic illusion of depth and space. By Johnny Chung Lee, Carnegie Mellon University. For more information and software visit