How to migrate to a bigger drive?


I am trying to migrate to a larger hard drive and copy my existing recordings on the new hard drive. I attempted to use Ext2Fsd utilizing Windows 7 Professional. When I attempt to run the ExtFsd program, nothing happens. I thought it may be my OS and asked my son to attempt the program on his computer which is more current and running Windows 10. He didn’t have any luck running the Ext2Fsd program either. Am I missing a step?


Yes, you are trying to use EXT2, the current Tablo uses EXT4 (and older ones used EXT3 I think). EXT2 tools aren’t going to be able to read EXT4 formatted drives.

While I haven’t (yet) monkeyed with my Tablo’s drive, I’ve messed around with EXT4 a bit and I’ve not found any Windows tools that work with it. I’ve succeeded using the Ext4fuse tools through FreeBSD and Apple OS X.

Does anyone know if Fuse works on Windows, and if so, is the Ext4fuse tool ported to Windows?

P.S. @ManOnTheMoon if you don’t know what I was talking about above, you may not want to mess with it.


You could always boot a live Linux DVD or USB and do the copying using that… just saying. Since you’d want to do a full drive or partition copy, biggest risk would be if the drives used different sector sizes (e.g. let’s say you had a 512 sector 1TB drive and were moving to a 4K sectored 4TB drive… that’s not going to work).

Anyhow, this isn’t particularly hard to do. And there’s a Linux guy in every neighborhood… in case you need help.


Do you know if I have a problem with bigger sector sizes if I am migrating from a Seagate Expansion 5TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0 (STEB5000100) to a Western Digital 8TB External USB 3.0 Hard Drive - WDBBGB0080HBK?


Update for the Tablo community.

I was able to migrate from the smaller 5TB hard drive to the bigger 8TB hard drive. Here is how I did it:

  • I hooked up the new hard drive to the Tablo and from the settings, format the hard drive.
  • I disconnected the new hard drive from the Tablo.
  • I bought “Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS 32 & 64 Bit - Latest Long Term Support Release” for $8.95 on Amazon.
  • I used the Linux DVD as a boot disk on my computer which normally has Windows 7 as an operating system.
  • Once the DVD boots, you need to select 32 bit or 64 bit. Since I have a 64 bit Windows 7, I selected 64 bit.
  • Next, I selected “Try Ubuntu Linux without installing”.
  • Attach the old and new hard drives to the computer USB ports.
  • From the interface, click on “Search Your Computer” and type “terminal” in the search options.
  • From the command prompt, type “sudo nautilus &”
  • Copy the contents of the old drive to the new drive.
  • Reattach the new drive to the Tablo.

The process of copying so much content took several days. It appears that the process worked. Everything copied over to the new drive, I can see my recordings, and I verified that I can view the recordings. Like others have warned, proceed on your accord as I can’t guarantee this work work for everyone.


I’m actually amazed this worked and would not expect it to work. Was under the impression there was interesting metadata at the filesystem (lower) level.

Btw, Ubuntu is free (for anyone who want to try the above at home).


Thanks Roy!

I got an email from Tablo telling me to just copy the whole drive, and after two days of copying, it did not work. I just copied the one directory “rec” and it works great! It took 2 days to copy 3 tb of data though.



It works like a charm. does anyone have an idea of when the extra USB port will become useful for the end user?


It’s highly unlikely it ever will be useful. It’s just there because 2 ports are as cheap as 1.


Just copy how? What did you use? Attached to what - a WIndows computer?

2 HDD possible?

This worked 100% as described. Thanks so much for the info and step by step instructions!!


March of 2018 and still the feature is a wish.


I have a straight Linux machine. Why couldn’t I simply format the new drive (picking a long wait time between scheduled series recordings, of course), plug both drives into the Linux machine, mount them both, then use a file-management program (or a command-line cp -rf command) to accomplish the same thing?



That’s the easy answer. Linux is intimidating to some though.


What you’re suggesting should totally work. My post was for Windows users who don’t have access to a Linux computer.

On Windows 10, it has been possible to run Bash on Ubuntu (search for Run Bash on Ubuntu on Windows 10 for setup instructions). I’ve not tried to copy a Tablo disk to another disk using Ubuntu on Windows 10, but in theory, it aught to work.

If someone on this forum tries this method (copying Tablo disk contents using Bash on Ubuntu on Windows 10 subsystem), please post your results here.



Roy: good news. I just completed a migration, and I can pronounce it successful.

I had recordings on a 2 TB Western Digital “My Passport” HDD. I recently bought a 4 TB HDD and decided to migrate my recordings.

I did as you suggested at first: unplug the 2 TB HDD, plug in the 4 TB HDD, and format it. (Why does my Tablo have two USB slots? Is that for using more than one HDD?)

Then I turned the Tablo OFF, and plugged both HDDs into my Linux machine.

I navigated to the “rec” folder on the larger HDD, then issued a command that went roughly like:

cp -rf [pathway-to-the-smaller-HDD-rec-directory]/* .

Typing in that pathway was a bear. All those randomly selected alphamerics!

It took maybe twenty minutes on the formatting job–and then twenty-four hours (well, maybe an hour or two less) to copy the recordings. (1.66 TB of recordings is quite a lot!)

I have just plugged in the new HDD and reactivated the Tablo. I also updated the guide.

My recordings are all present, just as I left them.

The schedule is behaving just as before–suppressing the recording of duplicates. How about that–the Tablo didn’t forget my settings.

And now I have another 1.8 TB of space that I didn’t have before.


I Used Ubuntu to copy all my programs (I didn’t have that many on this drive, since it’s my 2nd drive). I did it using the terminal window and sudo commands to cp -rf all the files. I just copied the long drive name and it all worked.
Now what I would like to try is to copy all my old programs from the original drive. Looking at the format of the original drive has folders not on my lastest drive. Since I’m currently on windows, I can’t give a list but I know it has a SQL database. Interesting, may someone from Tablo will comment, if I can just copy all the files in the ~/rec to my new drive and will tablo find them?
Thanks for the tip… HT Morgan


Just want to emphasize something on step 3. Use the web browser to do the format. I was fumbling around trying to figure out how to FORMAT the drive because I was trying to do it from the app. During the process i did a factory reset on my TABLO. Now the TABLO won’t recognize any recordings. I’m searching for a way to recover. But I think I’m toast


Thank you @BabbleBits!!!
This worked perfectly for me on a Windows 10 pc.
First time i tried I missed step 12 (flush cached data) and it didn’t work. Because your instructions are so detailed and great i was able to figure out what I missed very quickly. Had to re-transfer the rec folder, but worked perfect when I didn’t miss any steps.
Thanks again!


Great idea, this would not have occurred to me. Tried this on Mint Linux (Cinnamon) distro as an experiment, worked!