Is there any benefit to reformatting external hard drive used with Tablo?

I’ve been using the same hard drive for 3-4 years. I realized that I could binge whatever truly interests me before the Fall season begins, wipe the rest, and start over with a clean canvas. After all these years, there have to be oodles of fragmented files hanging on here & there. I can’t imagine going that long with zero maintenance on my computer drives. Would there be any benefit to reformatting the hard drive I use with my Tablo?

Likely no, the daily overnight maintenance is supposed to clear up orphaned files and recordings.

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ext4 fragmentation is a real thing. So YMMV with regards to starting all over again. You’d have to be an early Tablo user and a heavy Tablo user IMHO for this to matter too much.

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Here’s an excerpt from an article about EXT4.

EXT4 reduces fragmentation by scattering newly created files across the disk so that they are not bunched up in one location at the beginning of the disk, as many early PC filesystems did. The file-allocation algorithms attempt to spread the files as evenly as possible among the cylinder groups and, when fragmentation is necessary, to keep the discontinuous file extents as close as possible to others in the same file to minimize head seek and rotational latency as much as possible. Additional strategies are used to pre-allocate extra disk space when a new file is created or when an existing file is extended. This helps to ensure that extending the file will not automatically result in its becoming fragmented. New files are never allocated immediately after existing files, which also prevents fragmentation of the existing files

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Reformatting a disk has little to do with the type of modern file system such as ext4. It has more to do with deleting orphan files lost to the tablo system.

Nightly maintenance does a good job of that. Of course a user might want to hope that a full format might detect a bad drive.

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Correct. Which is to say, ext4 fragments over time. It’s just not as gross as some other filesystems.

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I’m a proud 6-year+ Tablo quad user! I changed to a larger hard drive with its own power source 3-4 years ago. During regular network season, I am a very heavy Tablo user. I watch zero live tv, unless we’re under a weather warning here in Tornado Alley. This summer I ditched several huge blocks of shows. Some series I’d saved, then binged ad-free on Hulu instead, plus weeks & weeks of some talk shows I decided I’d never watch. All that purging got me to thinking about reformatting.


Comparing your (presuming) Windows NTFS files allocation filesystem to a journaling filesystem is… well not really comparable. :neutral_face: Of course virtually all filesystems fragment, some manage it differently than others.

As mentioned, tablo does go through a maintenance mode overnight so it’s not zero.