Possible permanent fix for S03 error

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by commander, Apr 25, 2021.

  1. commander

    commander New Member

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    OK, this might be a permanent fix for the S03 error.

    Basically, the problem (that I have seen) is when TiVo tries to do a nightly download, it throws an S03 error, which prevents it from successfully completing a program data download and eventually you will run out of schedule program info.

    IMPORTANT: If you get this error, DO NOT reboot your TiVo, doing so might get it caught in a boot-loop because when there is no program data, a Tivo will try to do a data download upon bootup, but it won't be able to due to this error and thus gets caught in a loop.

    This S03 error all started shortly after I added a tuning adapter (TA) to an older series 3 Tivo.

    From what I have read, it seems that the size of the program data in the Tivo will drastically increase when you add a tuning adapter and this will cause issues with the handling of all this extra program data (including garbage collection).

    I have read about a solution of people hooking up a lamp timer to the tuning adapter to turn it off at night. This gave me the idea of just manually turning off power to the TA when I did a force connection/download on my TiVo (and turning the TA back on after the download) and sure enough this seemed to work, but I did this manually so I knew for sure the TA was off when I forced the download. But, for those that are trying to use a timer to fix this issue, I guess it might work if the timer turns off the TA when the TiVo is trying to do a download, but since the TiVo's exact download time varies and is not a fixed time, the timer method might be a hit or miss solution.

    So my solution was to leave the TA powered on and every two weeks (when the program data ran out due to the S03 error) I would have to manually unplug it, do a download, then plug the TA back on. This wasn't fun.

    But, then I discovered something about tuning adapters when I was adding a new one to a different Tivo. It appears there is a VERY specific sequence of steps that need to be done in order to "properly" boot up a tuning adapter:

    1) Power off the TA
    2) Disconnect the USB cable from the TA
    3) Power on the tuning adapter
    4) Wait until the green LED turns solid on or solid off (this could take 5+ mins, so be patient while the green LED is blinking).
    5) If off, then press the front button to turn it solid on (if the LED is already solid on, then press the front button to turn it off, then again to turn it back solid on.
    6) Now connect the usb cable to the TA
    7) The TiVo should display a message that it sees the TA
    8) Enjoy! (Note: it may take up to 10-15 minutes for you to be able to receive all your subscribed channels)

    Like I mentioned above, I would have to manually turn off the TA every two weeks so that I could do a download successfully. But ever since I did the above steps, it's now two months later and I have not had to turn off the TA once since then.

    So, if your "timer" solution is not working all the time, then you have nothing to loose with trying the above steps - BUT keep in mind, to do this method you need to remove the timer so it wont kill power to the TA anymore because if it's kills power to the TA again and the USB cable is connected when it powers on, it will not bootup "correctly" and the S03's might come back.

    Accordingly, if you ever have a power failure, you will probably need to repeat the above steps again because when the TA is powering back up after the power fail, the USB cable is connected at that time, so it won't boot up "properly".

    So, to make it perfectly clear, when your tuning adapter is booting up, the USB cable must NOT be connected to it until it fully boots up, otherwise it will be in an unstable state that may appear to be working, but could easily cause an S03 error when trying to do a download.

    It's like waking someone up at 3am in the morning, yeah they're up, but they are not all there. So, you have to let the tuning adapter get up, take a shower, have a coffee, then it will be ready to talk to the TiVo by plugging in the USB cable. If you rush the tuning adapter to talk to TiVo too soon, then they will be bitching at each other for the whole day.

    Note: Every once in a while my cable company does something that reboots my TA, and since the USB cable was continuously connected when this happens, the TA did not bootup "properly", so I had to redo the above steps.

    Hope this helps someone.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
  2. May 5, 2021 #2 of 26
    pL86

    pL86 Member

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    I can't speak to whether your procedure works for Tivo's with tuning adapters but I have two Tivo's without tuning adapters - Verizon FIOS user - and they both suffer from the S03 error. One is a brick bc I stupidly re-ran guided setup and can no longer finish the process. The second still works and has always fixed itself but hasn't had a successful connection in a week and a half now and the scheduled recordings are going to run out early morning Sunday. The guide data goes past Sunday for almost a week but the Tivo hasn't scheduled any recordings beyond Sunday; it seems like the data has been downloaded but the Tivo falters when it tries to create scheduled recordings using that data.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
  3. May 6, 2021 #3 of 26
    cannonz

    cannonz Well-Known Member

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    It's not a brick just reimage the drive.
     
  4. May 6, 2021 #4 of 26
    pL86

    pL86 Member

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    I'm not ready yet to lose all the recordings on the Tivo. I can still access and copy many of them but unfortunately, a decent number of the recordings have the copy flag so I can't transfer them off the Tivo. Those copy flag recordings are lost so I'm hanging onto to the Tivo for the other recordings. The stuck Tivo is also not lifetime and has a DVR Expander attached to it. I think its non-lifetime status would prevent a re-image since Tivo no longer activates non-lifetime Tivo HD? If/when I am ready to give up the recordings or transfer everything onto another Tivo, I would cancel the monthly fee and let the subscription Tivo die.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
  5. May 7, 2021 #5 of 26
    lhvetinari

    lhvetinari Ambassador to the City of Chicago TCF Club

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    S03's will become more common with S3/HD units as time goes on. It came up first with Tuning adapter users because of the additional processing load the TA puts on the system.

    Truth be told, the S3/HD simply was not designed for modern 500+ channel lineups. It can download the data fine, but it just takes too long to index and garbage collect so it eventually gives up and kills the process, resulting in an S03. The only fix is time, really - every failed connection gets it (hopefully) one step closer to clearing the backlog. And, whatever you do, run a connection daily! When it has to deal with multiple days at once, it WILL choke.
     
  6. May 9, 2021 #6 of 26
    pL86

    pL86 Member

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    My experience is matching your summary. I picked up the second lifetime Tivo last year from ebay and it worked flawlessly until a couple months ago when it started throwing out S03 errors. It always fixed itself but it's now been stuck for two weeks without a successful service connection and the to do recordings list is empty. I can manually record episodes but that's about it. Garbage collection and indexing is still going on so that gives me hope it will eventually work through the data backlog. Most of the time, the S03 error happens immediately at the start of the final loading stage but every once in a while, the loading stage progresses into the 70% range before the S03 error kills it. The longer-still-unsuccessful service connection only seems to happen after fresh data has being downloaded; I noticed last night as I was scrolling through the guide some channels would flash with the old program data before being replaced with the newer schedule info. I triggered a manual service connection and the loading stage got pretty far but still didn't finish.

    I know repeating guide setup is a big no-no but will I risk being trapped in the S03 error loop if I try the clear program info and to do list option? At this point, the to do list is empty anyway, all I have to do is re-populate the season passes.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
  7. May 9, 2021 #7 of 26
    cannonz

    cannonz Well-Known Member

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    If you have a tuning adapter since it's gone that long, unplug the TA for a hour after plugging back in after awhile look in info make sure it garbage collected, if so force a connection.
     
  8. May 9, 2021 #8 of 26
    pL86

    pL86 Member

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    My provider is Verizon FIOS and they don't use tuning adapters so nothing to disconnect.

    I reconnected the Tivo after leaving it unplugged for a couple hours today and garbage collection and indexing haven't updated - the dates they show are the dates that were there before I unplugged the Tivo this morning. It's been powered on for two hours now but the GC and indexing haven't kicked in. I just tried the service connection and it immediately S03 error'ed at the loading stage. Really frustrating.

    Is the Tivo Premiere any less prone to S03 errors than the Tivo HD? I really rely on the simultaneous cable/OTA recording capacity of the HD and Premiere so I'm reluctant to update to more modern units.
     
  9. pL86

    pL86 Member

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    The GC and indexing just updated so I ran the service connection - a service connection immediately after GC and indexing doesn't abort with S03 error at the start of the loading stage and it got as far as 73% but that's where it failed with S03 error. So close.
     
  10. cannonz

    cannonz Well-Known Member

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    That close a restart and connecting again would probably work.
     
  11. commander

    commander New Member

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    Try rebooting your tivo w/o the tuning adapter plugged in and see if it will get out of the boot-loop.
     
  12. gdavisloop1

    gdavisloop1 Member

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    Seems a lot of us S3 users are getting S03 this week ;(

    To the person with two Tivos and a Guided Setup loop - I had the same problem. I copied the drive from the good Tivo to a spare drive and put that in the bad one. After going through a few automatic processes I did "C&DE" and after that, I was able to re-GS the TiVo (with antenna only).

    On my Cable/OTA S3, I had that same problem with the Tuning Adapter years ago. But since I didn't really need the extra channels, I just tossed the TA. Now I'm getting S03s even without the TA, probably because my provider has added more channels.

    I previously called TiVo to tell them they should limit the number of channels going out to older units, but they said they couldn't.

    What luck have people had with "Clear Program Data and To Do List"? I have about 5 days of program data left, and I'd hate to make things even worse. I remember CPD&TDL fixing the S03 I was getting with the TA, at least temporarily.

    thanks!
    --Gary
     
  13. pL86

    pL86 Member

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    I triggered another service connection after the indexing updated but before garbage collection started, and this time, loading reached 80% before S03. That's 7% further than last time. I tried to follow your suggestion to restart after but fell asleep (this was 3am in the morning). By the time I woke up, several hours had passed since garbage collection/indexing and any service connections get killed instantly. It's interesting the only time I can get the loading stage to progress is if a service connection starts soon after the GC or indexing. I would have thought having a couple hours to process GC/indexing would allow the loading stage to go further.

    See my posts above - I don't have a tuning adapter to unplug bc my cable company Verizon FIOS doesn't use them. In my case, the tuning adapter is not a factor.

    There are a number of older threads where people say Clear Program Data & To Do List does not put the Tivo into an S03 loop but I am not ready to try (yet). My To Do List is empty and the Tivo isn't scheduling new recordings automatically but the guide data is still getting updates and I can manually add recordings. It's obviously not ideal but I am gun shy. I am going to keep triggering service connections right after garbage collection and indexing and hope the loading gets closer and closer to 100%. If it doesn't work, I guess I will consider Clear Program Data & To Do List.
     
  14. pL86

    pL86 Member

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    It worked! The service connection FINALLY finished tonight, almost three weeks after the last successful one.

    Speculation on my part but the service connection must be manually triggered soon after an index or garbage collection, no more than 30 minutes. I am not sure how much longer you can wait past that 30 minute window but service connections I started more two hours after an index/GC always hit the S03 error as soon as they reached the loading stage. Starting the service connection soon after an index or garbage connection is tricky because there's no way to know when the Tivo will carry out those functions. I have been obsessively checking system information for the last two days. I missed the garbage collection and index that happened early morning but caught the second index of the day. You can see below that I triggered the service connection at 11:22pm, a minute after the Tivo indexed for the second time. The garbage collection had not yet been updated from its morning 5:46am run:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The service connection took over an hour to finish. So relieved - I just checked the To Do List and it's filled to May 25. And this morning, I saw that the next service connection at 3:09am successfully completed.

    edited to clarify I was talking about manually triggering a service connection soon after the Tivo indexes or garbage collects and added screenshots
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
  15. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    On my TE3 Roamio, indexing will happen within 2 minutes of a service connection that has data. Otherwise, with no data, it will index sometime during the day.
     
  16. gdavisloop1

    gdavisloop1 Member

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    I wasn't sure how to coordinate the service connection with GC, so I tried downloading every chance I got, and I finally got a successful download... for now.

    But I also phoned TiVo, asked for level 2 support, and explained the issue with as much detail as I could, including my belief this problem affects (or will affect) every S3 customer with a cable connection. I also explained the endless GS loop, and several suggestions for fixing these problems.

    He said he would forward my information to the developers, but there was "absolutely no guaranty" they would act on my information, or when, but he did say I would get an email if any changes were made based on my "suggestions." I will certainly report that here should that email ever come!

    Also, while I had support on the phone, I asked if they could move a spare HD Tivo I purchased on eBay, to my account so it would have the same MAC. He didn't need consent from the previous owner, but did ask that I email a screen-shot of my receipt. The process was fairly painless and the rep stayed on the phone while I emailed the receipt, and then confirmed the box had been moved to my account. (BTW I bought the TiVo for $50 /w lifetime, wow!)
    --Gary
     
  17. pL86

    pL86 Member

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    Hi Gary, I'm glad you were were able to escape the S03 error. Sorry that my other posts were unclear; basically my suggestion was to monitor when the Tivo ran its indexing - you can see the time and date of the most recent index in the System Information menu next to the field labeled "Indexing" - and manually initiate the "Connect to the Tivo service now" under the Settings -> Phone & Network menu as soon as indexing has occurred. My theory, supported by limited experience, is that a service connection started soon after indexing has a very high chance of successfully completing while a service connection triggered hours after indexing will fail with an S03 error.

    Unfortunately, I will have more opportunities to test my theory because the Tivo I got to connect is already getting S03 errors again. I don't have any expectation Tivo can or will fix this; at this point, S03 errors are a part of the owner experience for Series 3 users and we will have to manage accordingly.
     
  18. pL86

    pL86 Member

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    Latest event:

    Indexing: Friday May 14, 1:02pm
    GC: Friday May 14, 1:17pm
    Service Connection: Friday May 14, 1:42pm
    Result: Immediate S03 Error

    I ran a service connection 40 minutes and 25 minutes after indexing and GC, respectively, and it got an S03 error immediately at the loading stage.

    1) maybe I waited too long to start the service connection after indexing and GC;
    2) maybe the service connection needs to be run after indexing but before GC;

    My last successful service connection happened 1 minute after indexing and before the Tivo ran garbage collection. Looking at my older post #13 in this thread, I see an ultimately unsuccessful service connection that nevertheless reached 80% loading before failing also started after indexing/before garbage collection. I will try to replicate that next time.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
  19. cannonz

    cannonz Well-Known Member

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    You should do a kickstart 57.
     
  20. pL86

    pL86 Member

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    I have, it didn't do anything.

    Well, it seems my idea that starting a service connection soon after indexing would let a Tivo successfully load is a bust. Two service connections minutes after indexing ended in an immediate S03 error. Meanwhile, a service connection hours after the Tivo indexed and carried out a garbage collection loaded all the way to 93% before ending in an S03 error (that service connection lasted over 2.5 hours before the S03 error killed it - I have developed a real hatred for that "blonk!" error sound). At this point, I have another week before my To Do List runs out again so I am running service connections with the hope one of them will finish.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2021

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