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Thread: Error S03 on TiVo HD

  1. #1
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    Default Error S03 on TiVo HD

    I've been able to connect my TiVo HD to my home network no problem, but it's not able to load the content onto my DVR. It hangs or sometimes fails, and gives me error S03.


    Anything I can do to fix this? Would this be a hard drive issue or TiVo issue?

    I tried kickstarting, the green light came on, I held down the pause button, but it seemed like the red and yellow light never came on. In all honesty, I got impatient after waiting for 3-4 minutes.

    I bought my TiVo HD in 2007, upgraded to a 2TB drive (based on feedback from here) in 2010, and only recently have had these s03 problems. Help!

  2. #2
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    That's a database corruption issue, usually as a result of a physical hard drive problem.

    You can try "clear and delete guide data" to see if that fixes it, but it could put your unit into a situation where it can't get back out of setup.

    Best bet is a new drive. We have them here:

    http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-upgrade.php
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunsax View Post
    I've been able to connect my TiVo HD to my home network no problem, but it's not able to load the content onto my DVR. It hangs or sometimes fails, and gives me error S03. Anything I can do to fix this? Would this be a hard drive issue or TiVo issue?

    I tried kickstarting, the green light came on, I held down the pause button, but it seemed like the red and yellow light never came on. In all honesty, I got impatient after waiting for 3-4 minutes.

    I bought my TiVo HD in 2007, upgraded to a 2TB drive (based on feedback from here) in 2010, and only recently have had these s03 problems. Help!
    My Series 3 started getting the S03 Error a few weeks ago and i found threads on TCF about the issue with a few easy solutions, one of which worked for me (disconnecting my Tuning Adapter for several hours until my GC date updated to the current day, then i forced a connection which was successful).

    1. In your System Information screen, is your GC date current or within one or two days as it should be? Or does it go back several days or even a week or more?

    2. Do you have a Time Warner Cable Tuning Adapter (TA) connected to your Tivo HD? A lot us have started getting Error S03 and there is strong evidence that the TA is causing the GC to stop updating then when Tivo connects to the service it's unable to Load Info and we get the S03 Error instead.

    If you're using a TA, and your GC is more than a few days old, try this solution first - unplug the TA's power cable and USB cable and also disconnect the Tivo from your network for several hours and keep checking your GC and see if it finally updates to the current date. When it does update, re-connect your network cable and force a connection and see if it successfully loads info. This worked for me and my Series 3 has been connecting and loading successfully even with the TA connected and so far it's working fine now.

    If you're not using a TA, try disconnecting Tivo from your network for a day or two and keep checking to see if your GC updates. and once it does update force a connection and see if it's successful. This has worked for a few people as well.

    Some owners have been able to clear the S03 Error by re-running their Channel Lineup procedure but at least one guy of TCF got thrown into Guided Setup and it got stuck in a loop and never was able to boot up.

    In the meantime, do not re-run guided setup or run any of the kickstarts or reboot the machine as you may get stuck in an un-recoverable boot up loop that you can't get out of. Try to clear the S03 Error first by disconnecting the TA and/or your network connection and let it sit till the GC updates. This may buy you some time while you figure out exactly what's causing the issue.
    Last edited by RandyWalters; 09-25-2014 at 07:51 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post
    My Series 3 started getting the S03 Error a few weeks ago and i found threads on TCF about the issue with a few easy solutions, one of which worked for me (disconnecting my Tuning Adapter for several hours until my GC date updated to the current day, then i forced a connection which was successful).

    1. In your System Information screen, is your GC date current or within one or two days as it should be? Or does it go back several days or even a week or more?

    2. Do you have a Time Warner Cable Tuning Adapter (TA) connected to your Tivo HD? A lot us have started getting Error S03 and there is strong evidence that the TA is causing the GC to stop updating then when Tivo connects to the service it's unable to Load Info and we get the S03 Error instead.

    If you're using a TA, and your GC is more than a few days old, try this solution first - unplug the TA's power cable and USB cable and also disconnect the Tivo from your network for several hours and keep checking your GC and see if it finally updates to the current date. When it does update, re-connect your network cable and force a connection and see if it successfully loads info. This worked for me and my Series 3 has been connecting and loading successfully even with the TA connected and so far it's working fine now.

    If you're not using a TA, try disconnecting Tivo from your network for a day or two and keep checking to see if your GC updates. and once it does update force a connection and see if it's successful. This has worked for a few people as well.

    Some owners have been able to clear the S03 Error by re-running their Channel Lineup procedure but at least one guy of TCF got thrown into Guided Setup and it got stuck in a loop and never was able to boot up.

    In the meantime, do not re-run guided setup or run any of the kickstarts or reboot the machine as you may get stuck in an un-recoverable boot up loop that you can't get out of. Try to clear the S03 Error first by disconnecting the TA and/or your network connection and let it sit till the GC updates. This may buy you some time while you figure out exactly what's causing the issue.

    Thanks Randy - I do, in fact have Time Warner Tuning Adapter (I'm in Los Angeles) and when I checked my GC it was showing a date of Sept 03!

    I've gone ahead and done what you've said - removed the TA (power and USB) and also took the ethernet cable out of the back of my TiVo.

    I'll check my TiVo GC and see what happens - I'll let you know. Hopefully it works.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunsax View Post
    Thanks Randy - I do, in fact have Time Warner Tuning Adapter (I'm in Los Angeles) and when I checked my GC it was showing a date of Sept 03! I've gone ahead and done what you've said - removed the TA (power and USB) and also took the ethernet cable out of the back of my TiVo. I'll check my TiVo GC and see what happens - I'll let you know. Hopefully it works.
    I'm in El Segundo (Los Angeles adjacent). I don't think it's a coincidence that my first-ever S03 Error ocurred the very same week that TWC turned off our Clear QAM channels here a few weeks ago and suddenly there seems to be some sort of database error or incompatibity issue between the old Series 3 and the TA now. My GC date was about 8 days old and several times i tried to force a connection but i kept getting Error S03, and one time it even said Last Status: Failed, Unrecoverable Error (instead of S03). And about a week before that i started getting a warning message in my Now Playing List that Guide Data will run out soon and to connect to the Tivo service. Sure enough, my guide data only extended for about 6 days so i knew something was wrong (it's normally about two weeks worth). I've had this TA for over 3 years and all that time i've never gotten an S03 Error so something at Time Warner must have changed and my Tivo seems to be choking on it.

    At first i called Tivo about my S03 Errors and they said my hard drive has failed and needs to be replaced, but my Tivo is otherwise working perfectly and i really don't think it's a hard drive problem. I told them that it has to be database or software related so they told me to try re-starting the Tivo but i don't like rebooting stuff unless it's a last resort. Tivo also informed me that they're no longer sending out updates on the Series 3 models so there will be no fix for this if it is a software issue and that kinda pissed me off since i have Lifetime Service.

    So i googled around and found various threads on TCF about the S03 Error going back over three years, one of which was very enlightening. Early recommendations were to re-run Guided Setup or clear and delete everyting or reboot it or even replace the hard drive (luckily none of which i wanted to do) and people were getting stuck in an un-recoverable boot-up loop, so instead i continued to read deeper into the thread and several pages in the smart guys there started determining that it was only happening with a TA connected and that is apparently not allowing GC (Garbage Collection) to complete, and the GC then gets "Consipated" (a good word for it). They also found that unplugging the TA allows the Tivo to eventually complete GC whereupon it will then allow the guide data to load after connecting to the Tivo Service. So i just left my TA and network cable disconnected overnight and the next day i checked my GC and it had finally updated to the current date!! I then re-connected the Network Cable, forced a connection, and for the first time it started Loading Info (which took a few hours) and instead of Last Status: Failed Error S03, it finally said "Successful". Soon after that i checked my guide data and it updated and it was now showing about two weeks worth.

    I've been monitoring my GC daily (with my TA and Network Cable connected) since then and it has been updating normally within two days and the daily automatic Service Connections have been successful, but right now my GC is 3 days old (Tues Sept 23 at 6:04 am) so i'm going to leave my TA connected normally and see if the next Service Connection later scheduled for later today succeeds or fails. Others have reported similar behavior. Some of the guys on TCF have resorted to using a lamp timer on their TA to turn it off for 4-5 hours every night and report that it is keeping their S03 Error from re-ocurring which is further evidence that the TA is causing the issue.

    How many days worth of Guide Data do you have? Mine currently runs out on Tues Oct 7th at 5:00 pm.
    Last edited by RandyWalters; 09-26-2014 at 07:45 AM.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the detailed info - all pretty interesting. I don't understand why leaving the tuning adapter disconnected helps with garbage collection, but if it does, that's good enough.

    I also don't think TiVo is fully done with updates for Series3 units. I understand they aren't adding features to Series3 units, but my guess is that they'll still do maintenance updates for them, when needed. Otherwise, they could alienate a TON of their users.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post
    I'm in El Segundo (Los Angeles adjacent). I don't think it's a coincidence that my first-ever S03 Error ocurred the very same week that TWC turned off our Clear QAM channels here a few weeks ago and suddenly there seems to be some sort of database error or incompatibity issue between the old Series 3 and the TA now. My GC date was about 8 days old and several times i tried to force a connection but i kept getting Error S03, and one time it even said Last Status: Failed, Unrecoverable Error (instead of S03). And about a week before that i started getting a warning message in my Now Playing List that Guide Data will run out soon and to connect to the Tivo service. Sure enough, my guide data only extended for about 6 days so i knew something was wrong (it's normally about two weeks worth). I've had this TA for over 3 years and all that time i've never gotten an S03 Error so something at Time Warner must have changed and my Tivo seems to be choking on it.

    At first i called Tivo about my S03 Errors and they said my hard drive has failed and needs to be replaced, but my Tivo is otherwise working perfectly and i really don't think it's a hard drive problem. I told them that it has to be database or software related so they told me to try re-starting the Tivo but i don't like rebooting stuff unless it's a last resort. Tivo also informed me that they're no longer sending out updates on the Series 3 models so there will be no fix for this if it is a software issue and that kinda pissed me off since i have Lifetime Service.

    So i googled around and found various threads on TCF about the S03 Error going back over three years, one of which was very enlightening. Early recommendations were to re-run Guided Setup or clear and delete everyting or reboot it or even replace the hard drive (luckily none of which i wanted to do) and people were getting stuck in an un-recoverable boot-up loop, so instead i continued to read deeper into the thread and several pages in the smart guys there started determining that it was only happening with a TA connected and that is apparently not allowing GC (Garbage Collection) to complete, and the GC then gets "Consipated" (a good word for it). They also found that unplugging the TA allows the Tivo to eventually complete GC whereupon it will then allow the guide data to load after connecting to the Tivo Service. So i just left my TA and network cable disconnected overnight and the next day i checked my GC and it had finally updated to the current date!! I then re-connected the Network Cable, forced a connection, and for the first time it started Loading Info (which took a few hours) and instead of Last Status: Failed Error S03, it finally said "Successful". Soon after that i checked my guide data and it updated and it was now showing about two weeks worth.

    I've been monitoring my GC daily (with my TA and Network Cable connected) since then and it has been updating normally within two days and the daily automatic Service Connections have been successful, but right now my GC is 3 days old (Tues Sept 23 at 6:04 am) so i'm going to leave my TA connected normally and see if the next Service Connection later scheduled for later today succeeds or fails. Others have reported similar behavior. Some of the guys on TCF have resorted to using a lamp timer on their TA to turn it off for 4-5 hours every night and report that it is keeping their S03 Error from re-ocurring which is further evidence that the TA is causing the issue.

    How many days worth of Guide Data do you have? Mine currently runs out on Tues Oct 7th at 5:00 pm.

    After Removing the TA and disconnecting the Internet, a few hours later, while watching recorded content, my TiVo went into an infinite loop Powering Up, and then restarting itself. I ended up replacing the HD with a new 2TB drive, and after getting Time Warner to Sync my Host ID and Data ID correctly, all seems to be well.

    One note, I still have my TA, however I did not connect it. I don't have any premium channels, and I originally got it because I needed a few children's channels that my kids used to watch. Since then, they've stopped watching them, so I decided not to reconnect the tuning adapter.

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