Tivo Repair and Troubleshooting: TiVo SO3 Error
Your TiVo: Symptoms you may be experiencing
An S03 error is an error found when the TiVo guide isn't getting updated properly. If you check in your Messages and Setup -> System Info screen under "Last Status", you may find that the TiVo reports an SO3 error. Another error like this is "failed while loading series." In both cases, there's usually a corrupt database.
Fix my TiVo! - Solutions
When a TiVo downloads the guide data for your channel lineup, it has to store the data in its internal databases. So it loads the raw data so that it can access it more quickly. Sometimes, the unit encounters hard drive problems during this process, and that's why you'd see one of these errors.
The options for solving this problem are straightforward:
More Information about this problemIf you want to test your hard drive to see whether it is bad, you will want to download the testing software for your TiVo hard drive's manufacturer. For hard drive testing instructions, see this page.
There are other resources online that have instructions on how to program a new TiVo hard drive, including the TiVo Upgrade Instructions site and the Hinsdale TiVo Upgrade How-To website. Unfortunately, if your TiVo's hard drive is bad, then you will be unable to use these resources because you likely won't be able to extract the TiVo software from your old hard drive.
Why/when/how the "green screen" can appear. In a nutshell, two portions of a TiVo hard drive are set aside for the TiVo operating system: the "active" partition and the "inactive" partition. When your TiVo powers on, the software in the active partition (really partitions, but we'll keep it simple) is used. The inactive partition contains, in effect, a backup of the TiVo operating system. If the software on the active partition develops an error, the TiVo will attempt to swap the inactive and active partitions and restart the TiVo using what had been the inactive partition. While the TiVo makes this "switch," you see the GSOD. If a hard drive is too damaged to switch partitions, then the green screen will never resolve and your TiVo will cycle between the Powering up screen and the GSOD, or will sit on the GSOD forever.
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