Dist drive reliability for larger USBs

The Tablo resource pages say I can reliably go up to 8Tb in storage space for a USB drive.

At the same time I see on a different page that WD Elements USB drives are recommended by Tablo and have high reliability.

So when looking to purchase, I noticed that the Elements drives 6Tb< and higher
require their own dedicated power adapters. (5Tb> are powered by the shared
USB transfer cable)

So aside from the extra powering for the 6 & 8Tb drives, wouldn’t there be a possible
performance delay/error inducing problem when the disk is needed after a time of idle?

I already have a WD “books” drive, and when not used, the drive has to spin up before
it is operable by a OS request for activity. Wouldn’t the Elements drive behave the same way and produce performance delays or errors if it has to spin up?

I wanted to way-oversize my drive because my present 1Tb is full and I must go through this painfull Clone process that Tablo does not support to get everything onto a new drive.

To better use the disk oversizing I am after, I will likely update my recording quality but I am somewhat concerned whether I am asking for problems by using power supplied drives by going higher than 5Tb, even if Tablo insinuates that up to 8Tb are reliable.

Anybody with some experience here ?

I can’t speak for the WD drives, but I have used one Seagate Expansion 5 TB drive since 2015 on my original Tablo and a second since 2017 when I bought a second Tablo with no drive problems. They are both powered externally which puts less burden on the Tablo power supply.


I’ve been using the same self powered Fantom 1TB hard drive for nearly 7 years now. It does power down after no use. I have never had an issue with recordings being detrimentally delayed while the hard drive was spinning up. I believe most “experts” here recommend self powered drives if possible as they do not put a power drag on the Tablo usb port, and ultimately the Tablo power supply.


Is this drive formated and controlled by Windows - OS?

Tablo is not Microsoft OS based. I don’t believe comparing a Linux based system to how Windows system operates as 1:1 is a reasonable assessment.

Yes, the books drive supports my windows system, powers down when not being used, then needs 3-5secs to power up when needed. This behavior does not seem desirable if it were connected to a Tablo which is why I am asking, and therefore thinking I might want to avoid the 6 or 8Tb Elements drives since they require their own power management logic system that might not play well with Tablo.

They require their own power source? or their own power management logic independent of the operating system controlling and managing it? Just because it has an external power supply doesn’t inversely mean an OS doesn’t still manage it regardless of it power source. -The possibility may exists, but generally unlikely, it would be reflected in cost.

Whether Tablo or the drive instigates the spin up is not relevant.

I was hoping somebody would pop up and say they indeed use a 6 or 8 Elements USB with good stability to put my concern to rest.

OK, your initial concern was about spin up delay as you currently expirence- with a Windows system.

As for stability, as with everything - we get what we pay for. Corporations manufacture anything as inexpensively as possible.

FWIW - We’ve been using an 8TB Seagate Backup+ Desk on one of our HQ Tablo units since 2015 and it’s been doing just fine.

I have been using the Seagate Skyhawk series drives with my Quad for several years. I like the OpenSeaChest tools for keeping tabs on the drive stats – highest temp over 2 years is 39 deg C. My current drive is 6TB. The Inateck mesh enclosure and the drive have been an excellent storage system. Here is a link to my post about it from Feb 2020 : What hard drive are you using? - #10 by ken_clifton

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Great replies guys, I am stuck on the WD drives though… and…

I just got back from my Best Buy and the largest WD they had on stock was the 5T. So here I go with the 5T.

I just now tried to format it.

  1. Power cable for Tablo removed to power down then old disk removed
  2. New disk staged and ready to plug in
  3. Power cable plugged in to power back up.
  4. iPhone App was-started after Tablo stopped blinking and I was taken to the settings page.
  5. Then I plugged the new drive in and an option opened up asking to format.
  6. I selected the Format option. Then the app gave me a “Formatting…” message. After about 30sec the message went away.

The settings page now shows in bold text that this is a WD 4.96Tb drive and a blank progress bar underneath showing there is 4.96Tb of space available.

I thought I read somewhere this would take hours to format. 30sec… really ?

So might there be a problem ? I realized there was a program to be recorded at the time I started to format. And after I saw the formatting message disappear I noticed the drive was being used. So I unplugged the antenna and the drive is no longer shaking like there is activity.

When I try to repeat the process with the antenna disconnected, I no longer get the format option. It correctly id’s the disk and it is unused.

I guess I’m good to go…. Right ?

If the drive is empty, it doesn’t take long at all to format.

Probably depends on the filesystem. An ext4 can be created with -E lazy_itable_init, while not fully completed, permits the filesystem to be mounted while allowing the kernel to finish initializing the filesystem in the background. It “appears” faster to the end user since it is (mostly) ready for use.

But it’s unclear where and what you may or may not have read.