Are existing recordings available after adding external drive?


I have a 4th Gen Tablo and am enjoying it. It’s time to extend the storage.

What happens to existing recordings (OTA) on internal drive after I add external storage? Will they still be accessible? Or will I need to record again if they are ever rebroadcast.

I have a WD Passport 5TB arriving tomorrow.


Everything that’s on your internal drive will continue to be there until you manually erase them.

Just be sure to follow the instructions on how to add the drive and format it for use.

I recommend rebooting the Tablo after you’ve completed those steps. I had immediate failed recordings on both Tablos, but after a reboot, both recorded just fine. (I can only guess that this added step ensured the Tablo knew where to store recordings since it was loading fresh with the drive attached.)

Good luck!

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When I asked Tablo support about this, I believe the technical answer is that existing recordings on the 4th gen’s internal drive migrate over to the external drive. This happens automatically behind the scenes.

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Even better if they migrate.

Thanks to you both!

IDK which rep told you that, but it’s not true.

After removing my last external drive, I still have a recording from October 27th on the internal, and after formatting the new drive, nothing has changed. Whatever has been recorded on the flash memory stays on the flash memory until you erase it.

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Interesting - but not surprising. I am not really surprised that the info I got was incorrect.

Although it suppose it is possible that existing recordings are copied to the newly attached external drive, but never deleted from the internal drive.

In any event - adding an external drive clearly does not cause you to lose prior recordings.

Sorry to tell you, but at least RN, it doesn’t copy over.

When swapping drives, I also merged and backed up the ones that were on the old ones. I deleted them one by one through the Tablo so I could name and sort them. Sadly, it’s the only episode from an entire show that’s still on the internal. I leave it on there as a reminder to grab it again if it ever airs.

I think there are things that Tablo wants to add for features that are currently not available, and maybe moving storage items is one of them. My most recent example from TabloSupport about missing EPG data added that “You can also schedule manual recordings for these channels using the ‘+’ button on the top right of the Scheduled tab.” I still have no idea what that means! I’m sure they’re working with beta versions we don’t have access to, and I can only hope that these features will work their way to our versions as well.

I have a Gen3 with 128GB internal. When I added an external drive, the recordings on the internal drive were no longer available. I do not know about the Gen4, hopefully you will still have access to those recordings.

If you would like to know all the details they’re here:

If/when you attach an external storage device, you will still be able to play and delete recordings on the internal storage but all new recordings will be sent to the newer, external storage you have attached.

Thanks all. Everything works as described.

Nit: When I plugged in the storage I wasn’t prompted to do anything. I had to go look for “format the drive” button etc.

Since I have a HDD and not SSD (which iirc is the recommendation), is there a way to gracefully shut down the Tablo vs just unplugging it?

I don’t have a 4th Gen unit, but when I was using a standard USB hard drive on my legacy Tablo I was able to set a 10 min sleep timer on the drive (using tool from the drive manufacturer). Never had any issues, but may be something to look into and try. Then when the Tablo is idle you could safely turn things off (assuming drive is spun down).

Actually, the tech support at Tablo today told me the same thing that when you plug in an external drive, everything from the internal drive is migrated over to the external. So, I have no idea who’s right or wrong?