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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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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
sushikitten
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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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