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Old 07-25-2013, 08:09 PM   #1
pbakers
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My Tivo HD S03 Error Saga

Should anyone have an interest, I thought I would document my adventures with the dreaded S03 error.

My Setup
Tivo HD (TCD652160) Stock, not modified with direct Ethernet connection to router.
WD MyDVR 1TB Expander
Motorola MCard Cablecard
Motorola Tuning Adapter
Time Warner Cable North Texas

History
THD was placed in service Nov. 2009. In 2011 the original MyDVR Expander went south and was replaced. Not long after, I started getting the “Guide Info will run out on XXX date” warnings. At first this only happen every few months and I would just reboot the THD and it would go away. At some point I found that just ignoring the message and letting the XXX date pass by, the message would go away on its own. I never missed a recording and saw no effects of doing this.

Until last week. I finally did run out of programming info and missed a few recordings. Rebooting didn’t fix this, even though at that time the THD still reported all successful connection attempts. I had read and been aware that doing a Guided Setup at this point could be very dangerous, so I WAS not going to try to do this intentionally. But I read somewhere that possibly the channel lineup had gotten changed. So I went to the Channel List, pressed Enter and the info there was correct. I TRIED to back out gracefully but the THD locked up, couldn’t do anything but pull the plug. Crap, on rebooting the THD went right into Guided Setup. I got past the first short service connection to get provider info, but on the second connection after setting the cable/antenna provider, I got the S03 error. %^#$#*&. But I just selected retry, I got lucky and it worked OK on the second attempt. I got out of the Guided Setup blackhole. But ever since then I have gotten the S03 error on every service connection, so I had less than two weeks to get this sick THD working.

After doing my homework on the Web, the following is what I decided to attempt to fix it.

Things I Tried (in the order I tried them, least intrusive/distructive test first)

1) My drives were completely full (old recordings were being deleting to make way for new ones). Some recordings were over a year old, so I deleted everything older than 6 months (figuring if I had not watched it yet I was not going to). This deleted about 30% of the shows, and then I permanently deleted them from the deleted folder. No change, still got the S03 error.
2) Unplugging the Ethernet cable for a few days. No change, still got the S03 error.
3) Unplugging the USB cable to the TA overnight. This did allow GC and indexing to run successfully that had not run for quite a while. But it did not help. No change, still got the S03 error.
4) Did a Clear Thumb Ratings and Suggestions. I do not use this so it took only about 5 minutes to do and reboot the THD. Still no change, still got the S03 error.
5) Did a Kickstart 57 (MFS Check). Took about 4 hours to complete. Completed successfully but still no change, still got the S03 error.
6) Did a Clear Programming Information and To Do List. This took about 6 hours to complete. I also did it with the USB cable to the TA unplugged. THD rebooted and attempted a service connection. And finally no more S03 error!

Things I was willing to try if not fixed above.

1) Kickstart 58 (MFS Cleanup)
2) Kickstart 54 (Hard Drive Test)
3) Kickstart 52 (Emergency SW Reinstall)
4) Clear and Delete Everything (factory reset).
5) Disassociate the MyDVR Expander to see if it was causing problems.
6) Replace THD internal drive.
7) Throw the THD out the nearest window………..

I was kind of expecting the “Clear Programming Information and To Do List” to do the trick, but I didn’t really want to lose all my Season Passes so I tried anything else first that would not delete something. I may still do the hard disk test just the check the drives out, but I don't execpt there to be anything wrong with them at this point.

My remaining question is what is the best way to avoid the S03 error from coming back? Is power cycling the TA really the way?

Not sure what this proves, just wanted to get my experience out there in case it helps anyone else.

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Old 07-25-2013, 08:36 PM   #2
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I have found one strange side effect of the "Clear Programmimg Info & To Do List" though. I was expecting all season passes to be deleted and the list to be empty. What I found though was that for any recorded program that was still in my Now Playing list, its Season Pass was NOT deleted (or at least was somehow recreated from the now playing list).

I wish they had been deleted though as they were all non functional. None showed any upcoming episodes even though they were clearly in the guide. Rebooting again did not fix this. Only deleting the Season Pass and recreating the pass again caused it to start placing new shows in the To Do List.

So I had to manually finish deleting the left over season passes and recreate them. What's up with that Tivo?

I also get the double folders for all programs like the new season passes are completely different shows than those recorded from the old season passes of the same show. This was expected as others have reported this.

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Old 07-26-2013, 12:52 PM   #3
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I went through something similar to your experience, at least in the basics. I have my TA on a timer that shuts off every night for 4 hours and it works perfectly. Getting close to 2 years now IIRC ( I think November).

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Old 07-26-2013, 03:55 PM   #4
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It sounds to me like the TA's are a lot more trouble than they're worth.

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Old 07-26-2013, 05:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtkflhn View Post
It sounds to me like the TA's are a lot more trouble than they're worth.
Yup.
Best countermeasure is FIOS, if you're lucky to have it in your service area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WO312 View Post
I went through something similar to your experience, at least in the basics. I have my TA on a timer that shuts off every night for 4 hours and it works perfectly. Getting close to 2 years now IIRC ( I think November).
Same here.

Some have had success by port blocking the TiVo within their inter net router.
To me a timer is so much simpler and you don't have to muck with router settings to make it work.

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Old 07-26-2013, 06:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WO312 View Post
I have my TA on a timer that shuts off every night for 4 hours and it works perfectly.
Ditto.

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Old 07-26-2013, 10:49 PM   #7
pbakers
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Assuming a Tivo is working OK, how often should you expect to see garbage collection complete? In the few days since I got it working again, GC and service connections have occurred everyday successfully, with the TA connected.
Also I haven't seen the new 11.0m drop on my THD yet. Is that still being pushed out?

Thanks.

Sent from my SGH-I577 using Tapatalk 2

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Old 07-27-2013, 08:47 AM   #8
WO312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbakers View Post
Assuming a Tivo is working OK, how often should you expect to see garbage collection complete? In the few days since I got it working again, GC and service connections have occurred everyday successfully, with the TA connected.
Also I haven't seen the new 11.0m drop on my THD yet. Is that still being pushed out?

Thanks.

Sent from my SGH-I577 using Tapatalk 2
With my TA timed out every night my GC updates about every other day, so if you are getting it every day you are good to go. You should keep checking on it every few days.

I still don't have the m update and I really don't care.

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Old 07-27-2013, 08:59 AM   #9
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We recently moved our problem TiVo to a new location in the house. It worked great for a few months, then BLAMMO. Needless to say we're back on the timer again.

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Old 07-27-2013, 10:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbakers View Post
Assuming a Tivo is working OK, how often should you expect to see garbage collection complete? In the few days since I got it working again, GC and service connections have occurred everyday successfully, with the TA connected.
Also I haven't seen the new 11.0m drop on my THD yet. Is that still being pushed out?

Thanks.

Sent from my SGH-I577 using Tapatalk 2
My THD does GC every three or four days, occasionally after two days. I wonder if the interval doesn't depend of usage factors.

I still don't have 11.0m either. AFAIK the only thing they fixed in 11.0m was the cookie date problem affecting TTG. Any TTG software that anyone uses already has been fixed, or has a simple fix available, so it's hard to get excited about it.

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Old 08-11-2014, 10:40 AM   #11
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My Tivo HD S03 Error adventures

Just wanted to thank pbakers for your suggestions on how to fix the S03 error. Did a Tivo HD upgrade about 2 years ago and system was working great ... Problem started when the GC wouldn't clear out --- I finally had to unplug the TA for a few hours to allow the thing to clear ... then I could at least make a connection to the Tivo service ... but then in the past couple of weeks my SPs showed no upcoming episodes while the guide clearly showed episodes (I mean no upcoming episodes of Family Guy ... really??) ... the dreaded S03 error then arrived and wouldn't leave ... tried forced connections, re-running guided setup, deleting the suggestions, unplugging the Ethernet for 2 days - all to no avail. Finally ran the delete Program Info and to-do list on Saturday (took about 6 hrs) and voila - all is well again ... also noticed that those SPs that had shows on my play list remained just as you had noticed -- killed those and started all over again ... took a bit of time but at least the system can now schedule shows and SPs show upcoming episodes!!
Tuning adapter is now on a timer to go down for 4hrs each night -- hope that works!!
Thanks again for posting!
Flycan

Tivo HD with cablecard and 2TB upgrade kit directly into router (lifetime subscription)
Cisco Tuning Adapter
Time Warner South Bay Los Angeles

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Old 08-11-2014, 11:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Tuning adapter is now on a timer to go down for 4hrs each night -- hope that works!!


Yes, it will work.
You should see the GC date change (update) every other day to every 3rd day.

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Old 10-26-2015, 07:31 AM   #13
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A family member with a Tivo HD running for 1-2 years with a 2 TB WD AV Green drive on Comcast moved to a Cox Cable neighborhood. Had to get a tuning adapter. A month later, the daily calls started failing. The dreaded S03 error. By phone, I had her try powering down the tuning adapter, rebooting, removing a channel from the channel list and later adding it back.

Yesterday morning, the Tivo showed the current date in the GC field. After doing all of the above, the program data crashed around 55% complete, whereas previously it was crashing at less than 20%.

I'm thinking she's going to have to do a "Clear Program Information and To Do List" and delete the seasons passes if they're still there.

Will the season passes repopulate from the Tivo Server? Or must they be manually entered?

And, is there an easy way to know what channels she'll be missing if I tell her not to reconnect the TA?

Finally, would a Roamio Pro develop the same problems with a Tuning Adapter connected, or has this been fixed in the newer models?

Thanks

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Old 11-01-2015, 10:31 PM   #14
spocko
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I just dealt with the S03 error myself.

For reference, my setup is:
- Tivo HD
- upgraded 1TB hard drive
- operating on Cox with cablecard and tuning adapter
- 4 autorecord wishlist items, and about 15 season passes
- Had been running in this same configuration for about 4 years before S03 error showed up. No recent changes that I'm aware of except that Cox recently pushed out a firmware update for the tuning adapter. I have no idea if that had anything to do with the S03 error.
- After the error started happening, the Tivo could connect to the service and download data, but would fail with error S03 during the "loading" stage.

Here's how I resolved the S03 error:

1) When I looked in the system info, I could see that the last successful GC was about 3 weeks ago. I unplugged power from the TA overnight, and in the morning GC had completed successfully.

2) Did a Clear Thumb Ratings and Suggestions. (took a long time)

3) Did a Kickstart 57. (took a long time)

4) Did a Clear Programming Information and To Do List. (took a long time)

Only after doing step 4 did the S03 error go away. I've been running for a week now with no further problems.

Obviously after doing step 4 you will have to recreate all your wishlist items and season passes. To help with this, I used kmttg to load my season passes and save them to disk. I then printed out some of the data and used that as a guide while I manually recreated everything on the tivo. I don't know if kmttg supports downloading season passes to series 3 tivos, but even if it did, I think it's cleaner to manually recreate them on the Tivo. Yes it takes some time, but it ensures that you are starting with a clean slate.

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Old 11-02-2015, 07:22 AM   #15
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My family member left the TA unplugged for days, but that didn't fix it. But, after the guide data ran out, the next daily call succeeded. She's leaving the TA unplugged now since she almost never watches anything on channels that need the TA.

Thanks for your post!

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Old 02-04-2016, 12:10 PM   #16
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To add to this thread on a fix and aproblem.

My TivoHD was out of service for 6 weeks, due to power supply

I got it working and started moving shows recorded elsewhere to this tivo so it can start picking them up again.

also did the first callout to get data. Data load got to 68% then S03, tried a few more times and load goes to 60-70% almost immediately and S03

My GC date was 6 weeks back.

Over night, the xfers finished and the next dl worked fine. I am thinking the xfers somehow interfered with the guide load, so my rule of thumb will be to not do ttg xfers during program loads

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Old 02-05-2016, 11:58 AM   #17
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Following up to my earlier post #14:

Even after resolving the S03 error as I described, I was still getting periodic issues where GC would not complete for some time, then guide data updates would start failing.

There are two solutions that have worked for other people. Pick which one you prefer, you don't need to do both.

Option A)
Plug the TA (not the Tivo) into a lap timer and program the timer to turn off the TA for about 4 hrs each day in the middle of the night. GC will be able to complete while the TA is powered off.

Option B)
Configure your router to block access to the Tivo guide data server for two consecutive days per week. GC will be able to complete during the time that the guide data server is blocked. I am using the following approach that was, and it is working for me. Initially I tried just blocking on Mon, Wed, Fri, but that wasn't sufficient. It seems to be necessary to block for longer than 24 hrs to ensure that GC has time to complete.

--------------------------------------
Posted by [NG]Owner in another thread:

I've had great success in solving the Guide Data Is Running Out issue by using my router to block my three S3 HDs' access to Tivo's Guide Server. Just block IP 204.176.49.2.

The Tivos only have access to that IP for four days (Monday & Tuesday open, Wednesday & Thursday blocked, Friday & Saturday open, Sunday blocked). Haven't had a problem since.

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