How To: Fix TiVo Error S03

imageIf you try to download new information into your TiVo and you keep getting the error code “S03” the instructions below will fix it.  I have done this on two of my TiVo machines and it has worked.

  1. Restart your Tivo
    1. Go to “Messages & Settings”
    2. “Restart or Reset System”
    3. “Restart the Tivo DVR”

  1. Hold down the yellow button on your remote as soon as you press “enter” for the restart.  Keep holding it down until This will take about 2 min.
  2. Wait until both lights on the front of the TiVo are yellow.  At other times the lights are red or green.  Wait until both are yellow.
  3. Release the yellow button on your remote.
  4. Press button 5, then button 7.
  5. TiVo will start to restart.
  6. After about 2 min you will get a screen this has a green background and white letters. The writing will read “The DVR has detected a serious problem and is now attempting to fix it. . . .”
  7. The screen warns you that this may take 3 hours.  When I have done it it took about 20 min.
  8. When TiVo come back on, it should be fixed.
  9. Go back to “Settings” – “Phone & Network” – “Connect to the TiVo service now”
  10. Connect

TiVo should now download program information.  Hope this helps.  Please comment if you found any other way to fix this problem.

yojoe out

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29 Responses

  1. Thanks for the post. Did you try this with a series 2 Tivo ? Which manufacturer ?

  2. yes, worked for me with tivo series 2

  3. It does not work for me. It still shows s03 after about 64% of data has loaded. Pls help.

  4. It does not work for me. It still shows s03 dater 64% of the data has been loaded. Pls help.

  5. I have a Pioneer DVR 57-H that doesn’t show lights on the front of it. any ideas about how to fix? Thanks, Jim Levine

  6. I just did this sequence for the first time last night on my Series 2, and it worked! It took 2-3 min for yellow lights to come up. So, I held the yellow button down for awhile. In the meantime, TiVo was already restarting. After yellow lights turned off, it took another few minutes for the TiVo restarting screen to turn to Green screen. Like the original thread said, the Green screen asked for 3 hrs, but it only took 20 min or less.

  7. I found (twice now, two different boxes) that deleting the saved programs (especially the ones right before it started failing) helps. Maybe it is a corrupt program, or database entry.

  8. Great tip, resolved my s03 issue exactly as described. Where did you learn this?

  9. This is the kick start 57 procedure, basically a chkdisk, but documented very nicely here. there is also kick start 58. Both discussed in tivo forums. There is some risk of resulting in an endless loop, however, if your hard drive is failing.

  10. My remote doesn’t have a yellow button, except for the pause button. The thumbs down button is red. So what yellow button are you talking about?

  11. I first did this without deleting anything and it worked a few times and then the error s03 came back. So next i cleared and deleted everything on the Tivo (series 2). redid the initial setup and then when that finished, i peformed this reboot procedure again and It has been working good for a few weeks now, with no error codes. So thank you very much for sharing!!

  12. Audrey,

    The Pause button is the yellow button on most Tivo Remotes I have seen.

    Audrey, on April 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm said:
    My remote doesn’t have a yellow button, except for the pause button. The thumbs down button is red. So what yellow button are you talking about?

  13. I also was getting the S03 error on a series 3 that I had upgraded to 1GB drive a year ago. The 57 thing didn’t work for me. Maybe it would have if I cleared all my data like Leon says. My solution was to restore from a backup i made with winmfs when I upgraded the drive.

  14. I can’t get to this screen since the PieceOfS TIVO goes straight to setup.
    Restart your Tivo
    Go to “Messages & Settings”
    “Restart or Reset System”
    “Restart the Tivo DVR”

    Personally I think Tivo screwed this up on purpose.
    All the downloads are working just fine until the last step. Their whole operating system is like a damn DOS 20 years ago.

  15. I have a Humax Series 2, which has a slightly different remote. There is a yellow pause button, but I am not getting yellow lights when I hold this down.

    I’m wondering which button activates the kick start procedure described above on this unit?

    Thanks for the help!

  16. I tried this and it didn’t seem to work at first. I was still getting S03. However, I had to go out of town right after that and it sat there for a couple of weeks. When I got back, the S03 was gone and it is working fine. This makes me wonder if the initial corruption caused a bad guide entry which scrolled out of the database after its 12 days was up.

    So overall, I do think it fixed it. Thanks!

  17. I called TiVo support about this, and they recommended not doing the 57 kickstart. They suggested disconnecting from the internet and letting the TiVo run for a couple of days as the problem was due to an indexing issue. I guess if it runs for a while, it sorts out the indexing. This fits with what Ford writes above. I haven’t been patient enough to actually try this yet, so I don’t know if it will work for me.

  18. Thanks EdwardATeller, I will try it.

  19. Mine just sat for two weeks with no program info and still doesn’t work… Trying the green screen noe.

  20. worked, thanks a ton.

  21. Tried kickstart 57 twice on a series 3 HD XL. Ea time it only took about 10 min not counting the reboot time. Still had S03 error. But after leaving my tuning adapter off and connecting 3 or 4 times via network it finally updated and cleared the error.

  22. This totally worked. Thank you for posting. Didn’t get the green screen until trying this a second time.

  23. The kickstart 57 rarely solves the S03 error. I’d suggest you consider a new hard drive if KS57 does not work.

  24. just used it and worked for me as advised. thank you for helping fix my marriage saver box

  25. Not only did it not work but it totally broke my TIVO. I wouldn’t suggest doing this.

  26. Try unplugging your network connection for at least 72 hours. A tivo tech told me that. It forces a database rebuild on the tivo. It worked.

  27. Totally worked. thanks so much!

  28. […] How To: Fix TiVo Error S03 | Dreadnaught – How to fix error “S03″ on your TiVo. Home; Dreadnaught. Entries RSS | Comments RSS. … Like Loading… Related. … Mine just sat for two weeks with no program info and still doesn’t work… Trying the green screen noe. […]

  29. I have a series 2 and have been using it since it was new about 12 years ago. When I get an S03 error this is what I do first. Permanently delete all “deleted” recordings, go through your season pass and delete all programs that do not have any up-coming episodes, and then go to reset and clear the thumbs ratings. The box will reboot after this and then wait 24 hours to see if the next network connection was successful. This usually works for me. If that doesn’t work, unplug the network connection for 72 hours for the database to rebuild itself. When I had this problem 2 years ago, Tivo told me it was the hard disk. I got a bigger hard disk and used a utility I found online to clone the disk. Same problem, I unplugged the network connection for 72 hours and it fixed it. I really can’t believe that this Tivo has lasted so long and is still running.

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