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HoloLens 2 headsets bricked by troubled Insider build, according to reports

HoloLens and Microsoft Windows logo
HoloLens and Microsoft Windows logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Some Microsoft HoloLens 2s running on a recent Insider build of Windows were found to be bricked by the aforementioned software update, according to recent reports.
  • A Reddit account with a single comment, claiming to be a Microsoft employee, confirmed the issue and linked to an official Microsoft support document.
  • There appears to be a way to unbrick the $3,000+ headset if you find yours in this situation.

If you have a HoloLens 2 headset running on Insider build 20346.1466, you may be on a crash course with trouble. As called out by HoloLens owners on Reddit and verified by someone claiming to be a Microsoft employee as well as official Microsoft documentation, it seems Redmond released a potentially dangerous Insider build to owners of the ultra-expensive AR headset (via The Register).

In short, the build may brick HoloLens. You can read more about the intricacies of the issue over on Microsoft's document discussing the build. Here are the official steps provided to check if you're affected:

  1. Reboot – Hold down the power until the LED's step down.
  2. Power up.
  3. Confirm you see the Windows flag at the beginning of the boot and it goes black shortly after that.
  4. Connect your HoloLens2 to your PC with USB and run Advanced Recovery companion.
  5. Select the HoloLens.
  6. If the version says you are running the 20346.1466 build, you likely hit this issue.

If you are stuck with a bricked HoloLens 2 as a result of the above information, you'll need to reflash the device. Microsoft has an Advanced Recovery Companion (ARC) app for this sort of situation.

Remember that Insider builds do carry more risk than retail builds, and this scenario is just one example of that. Also remember that Microsoft is building a variant of HoloLens for the U.S. Army, though that deal has seen a delay.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

2 Comments
  • I hope this is an isolated incident... but I'm not holding my breath.
  • Where is Hololense 3? Can we get a "state of the device address" article on this device? We need an update.