How to reset hard drive

I have a 5tb Wd Element hard drive. Hooked it up to a 2 tuner Tablo. It worked fine…but actually ordered a 4 tuner so I sent it back. Then rehooked up to the 4 tuner when it arrived. Now only showing 156 gb total space. I tried going back resetting Tablo to factory reset… it reformatted HD but only the 156gb partition. Any suggestions as to how to reformat…and have it use the 5Tb?

@Jeffkyle The 156GB number is a little random - or was that all that was left from when you used the 2-tuner? If that’s the case, the new Tablo (if you didn’t migrate the recording data from the original unit) will free up the space overnight.

I assume that was what was left from the 2 tuner. I had only recorded a test show or two… its been hooked up for a few days not and the space has not freed up… how do I manually kick it into reallocate mode ?

My favorite method is to connect the USB drive to a Windows PC and use Windows Disk Manager to delete all partitions on the drive. Do not create a new partition at this time. Then remove the drive and connect the drive to the TABLO and let it partition and reformat it, which could take a little while.

If you perform this procedure, make absolutely certain you have selected the USB drive when deleting the partition. You would not want to accidentally delete a partition on a Windows drive. Make certain no other USB drives are connected when performing this procedure.

If you had already recorded movies using the new TABLO, you should remove the USB drive and reset the TABLO to Factory settings. Then let the TABLO go thru a normal initialization and download the Guide completely. Then plug in the USB drive.

At this point you will have a completely fresh setup ready for new recordings.

Good Luck!


I tried that process to the T. Used pc to delete the partition…factory reset Tablo…scanned channels, update guide…plugged hd in and still only 156 gb. Any other suggestions? Or is hd probsbly corrupted… is there a way to totally erase and format hd and get it back ot original state ?

How large did the computer report the unpartitioned drive?

Can you post a screenshot of Disk Management from the computer when the drive is connected?

it reported 149.01 Gb. Here is the screenprint after I deleted the partition

What is the model number of the drive? If it is in an enclosure you might need to open it up to see the actual drive.

The good news is it does not appear the TABLO is mis-reporting the size of the drive but seems to agree with Windows.

You might try some Western Digital tools to see if they can repair your drive:

This article suggests the drive might need to be initialized with GPT addressing to see 5tb. Also the PC performing this action may need to be a more modern 64 bit model with advanced hard drive controller and drivers. You might have to try this again on a different PC.

The article describes how to convert from MBR to GPT.

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In case this helps anyone down the line, when I was sent a replacement Tablo after the first bricked, the new one booted normally as a new device, recognizing my old hard drive (a WD 1TB SSD) but obviously not the synced recordings or schedule. Tablo showed over 800GB used on the hard drive.

So I disconnected the new Tablo, reconnected the old one (which I’ll be mailing back on Monday) and took about 20 minutes to manually delete all recordings in the Tablo interface. For good measure, I deleted the schedule, too, but that probably didn’t affect disk space appreciably.

Disconnected the old and reconnected the new Tablo: Voila, a clean hard drive. Might not work for everyone, but because I’m a Mac user, I wasn’t looking forward to figuring out how to reformat the drive.

How do you define “bricked”?
If the replaced tablo is otherwise functional, aka not a brick, you could could use this Advanced & Technical Questions from Tablo Support:

Moving your recordings to a new Tablo
Tablo Support - David
December 03, 2018 17:14

If you replace your Tablo DVR the process below will allow you to migrate your existing recordings stored on an external disk (devices with internal storage or Cloud storage are not supported) and schedule data to your new unit. This process will work for ALL Tablo models (including 2-tuner migrations to 4-tuners, etc.).

Your Mac computer should have an option to want to set it up so it can use it, then the tablo would re-format it.

“Bricked” means it wouldn’t work after repeated trouble shooting with tech support, who ultimately sent a replacement. The problem didn’t seem relevant to this thread, but it involved the player failing consistently, which required multiple reboots per hour.

Quick search, to verify, tells a bricked device generally won’t power up, or is completely unresponsive if it does - often flashing lights.

Being defected, having some function, yet not doing what is suppose to. Just wanted to clarify why you would suggest to connect a drive to a bricked tablo.