Just checking - any new news on replacing a HDD (copying to new HDD)

The answer of “no easy way” is prevalent throughout this forum but this is a question that’s been floating around for years. I suspect my current hard drive is causing issues (sometimes get “hard drive net detected” - have to restart Tablo and hard drive to get it back). I want to replace the HDD but don’t want to lose any recordings. The most common solution I’ve seen has been to close the old HDD over to the new. Anyone know if Tablo has stepped up and addressed this question?

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What is your current HDD? Sometimes this is caused by a power saving mode on the drive, which can be turned off with a tool from the manufacturer.

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I’ve recently used Clondzilla Live. But since I was going to a larger drive I had to resize it with gparted live. (admit it; poor planing, didn’t use clonzilla for who-knows-how-long)

GParted is a free partition editor for graphically managing your disk partitions.

It does have a copy and past (clone) option and then resize if the drives are different sizes. It’s user friendly, compared to clonzilla which is completely command line options.

Even so, when ‘they’ said my drive was dying, I used rsync which is a fancy copy, and just transferred them back after I let the tablotv re-format the drive - nothing elaborate and it worked.

Of course, it worked for me. I’m not recommending it as much as suggesting it’s an option to investigate as a possibility for you.

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Fairly new Tablo user here - however, over the years I have used an app for the Mac called SuperDuper! , when I have upgraded my computer hard drive (like moving to a larger HD or new one), it works flawlessly, even to the degree of not having to reinstall apps, docs, etc. Website: https://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html
Might be worth a try. :slight_smile:

As great as this is… you first must meet:

System Requirements

SuperDuper v3.2.4 requires Yosemite (macOS 10.10) or later, and is Mojave (macOS 10.14) compatible with both HFS+ and APFS volumes.

As for a tablotv device

SuperDuper! only copies APFS (Apple File System) and HFS+ (Mac OS Extended) volumes.

It uses an ext4 file system. Still, that’s not to say it’s not great for Mac users, just, probably not the tool for this task, but then, I’m not a technician.
thanks for your input

There is no official solution from the Tablo team. So your choices are to attempt to clone the existing ext4 partitions to a new disk, or to copy the recordings off using one of the many third party tools and store them in Plex or some other media management tool.

Last time I switched disks I just moved all the recordings to Plex. It’s the easiest solution. But you cannot move them back to the Tablo’s new drive after you swap it.

Thanks for your reply. This is a WD GREEN WD20EZRX and based on my research, it does do an auto park. I can see how that would be an issue for the Tablo (assuming the Tablo isn’t smart enough to do something to wake up the drive before reading/writing to it and assuming the drive is a tad slow responding at times based on the intermittent nature of this issue). I looked at downloading WDIDLE3 but Western Digital warns against using it for drives other than “those listed” and frankly since this drive is approaching 2+ years old I’m thinking I should replace it.
Thanks again for the informative reply

Thanks - we have a pretty extensive recording library. Cannot imagine how we would organize it in Plex without significant time investment. I’ll look at cloning - I have the technical ability just not sure if the recorded material is important enough to bother.
Appreciate your reply

I’ve been using WD green EZRX, a 500gb and 3tb - never had an “auto park” issue. These aren’t new drive though, it may appear in different generations. Drives should last well over +2yrs IMOH.

Being a mac user, you might want to look at capto to retrieve your shows. It’s a third party program for exporting recordings. (there was mac issues, not sure if it’s resolved, and/or older version might)

SurLaTablo works just just fine on Macs.

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I got to say I didn’t do anything that special to copy to my new drive.

  1. Unplug old drive.
  2. Plug in new drive to Tablo.
  3. Let the Tablo format the new drive.
  4. Unplug the new drive.
  5. Connect both drives to your computer. * Window users see the bullet point below.
  6. Copy contents from the old drive to the new drive with any tool you like. No cloning needed.
  7. Plug the new drive into your Tablo. It took my Tablo a little bit to recognize the new drive.

TIP: If you can attach your drives directly to your computer via SATA the speed will increase dramatically. There is no gain in performance using a USB 3.0 drive with you Tablo but if your computer supports USB 3.0 that can speed up data transfer between drives so it may be worth it to buy the faster drive.
TIP2: This process will take a long time if you have a lot of files. Do it overnight or when your Tablo won’t be in use for a while.


I concur, I used rsync and did copy things back to the tablo re-formated drive… Some say it doesn’t work, others have no problem - true it’s an unsupported, by tablo, method. Considering we’re talking about possibly failing drives, it’s all unreliable, but unlikely to damage your new drive trying.

This may seem trivial to you, it’s not the Tablo drives format! Ext4 is an opensource file system the tablo uses.

I consider it reasonably simple because if you follow the steps and let the Tablo format the drive you can download a free program for Windows which I linked above. It’s trial ware but it gets the job done. It would be really great if some wrote a Tablo transfer utility or if Tablo would open up that second USB interface for the purpose of drive backup.

Here is what I imagine. You plug a new drive into the Tablo. The Tablo asks if you want to make the drive your new primary storage. It would let you know the new drive will be formatted and all data will be lost.

Next the Tablo would ask if you wanted to Transfer all media or select the media you want to transfer.

All new recordings will be saved to the new drive. This process would take quite a long time and I think the transfer process should only be run during hours when the Tablo is not otherwise busy.

The user would be told not to unplug any drive until notified. Once the transfer process is completed a notification would appear each time the Tablo app was opened letting them know the old drive should now be removed.


I understand your method and used it myself. Misunderstanding, you implied the format type was Tablo’s - “the Tablo drive format”. Although trivial, the ‘format’ or file system is an opensource file system, ext4… not tablo’s format

Yes, if the original drive is still accessible and readable, I’m not sure why tablo make it a “can’t be done”. You describe a rather user-friendly option. It probably could be scripted by someone with a bit of skills, so users don’t need to understand the tech behind it.

That was not meant to come across that way. I meant the format Tablo uses.

Definitely not “my method”. Someone else came up with it.

EDIT:. I don’t see the post I followed but here is someone else’s instructions.

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Maybe not those steps, but this…

… whole process doesn’t sound all that unrealistic. Although it’s beyond me, the tablo could transfer files over the local network to the new drive, possibly attached to a pc. But there’s overheard with file sharing which would be difficult over multiple platforms mix available.

Maybe they could support a USB hub so you can connect both drives to the tablo. Then have some app settings as you envisioned, now that would cool.

The 4 tuner has two USB ports. I didn’t realize the other units didn’t but a hub would do it in that case assuming they added support.

The whole copy disk issue has been discussed for at least 3 1/2 years.

Both the original Tablo models had two USB ports.

But there were other priorities and once the various rippers were developed it fell off the radar. But since various other DVR providers, such as Tivo and Recast, provide this capability maybe this feature will make it as a high priority.

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I appreciate 3rd party work-arounds. Backup and/or swapping drives is not primary function for the tablo device. Still, having a second USB port (3.0 yet) would really make it nearly painless for (some) users. Yet, it’s something most likely only a small set would make use of. I would almost suspect, for a programmer/developer it’s not complex. Making it user-friendly for vast degrees of understanding and various mix hardware may add unnecessary overhead. :disappointed:

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I’ve seen some tools to do this automatically.