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

SurLaTablo works just just fine on Macs.

1 Like

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.


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.

1 Like

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:

1 Like

I’ve seen some tools to do this automatically.

If Tablo uses an ext4 file system the Clonezilla might work:

  • Many File systems are supported: (1) ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, reiser4, xfs, jfs, btrfs, f2fs and nilfs2 of GNU/Linux, (2) FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS of MS Windows, (3) HFS+ of Mac OS, (4) UFS of FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD, (5) minix of Minix, and (6) VMFS3 and VMFS5 of VMWare ESX. Therefore you can clone GNU/Linux, MS windows, Intel-based Mac OS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Minix, VMWare ESX and Chrome OS/Chromium OS, no matter it’s 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x86-64) OS. For these file systems, only used blocks in partition are saved and restored by Partclone. For unsupported file system, sector-to-sector copy is done by dd in Clonezilla.
  • LVM2 (LVM version 1 is not) under GNU/Linux is supported.
  • Boot loader, including grub (version 1 and version 2) and syslinux, could be reinstalled.
  • Both MBR and GPT partition formats of hard drive are supported. Clonezilla live also can be booted on a BIOS or uEFI machine.
  • Unattended mode is supported. Almost all steps can be done via commands and options. You can also use a lot of boot parameters to customize your own imaging and cloning.
  • One image restoring to multiple local devices is supported.
  • Image could be encrypted. This is done with ecryptfs, a POSIX-compliant enterprise cryptographic stacked filesystem.
  • Multicast is supported in Clonezilla SE, which is suitable for massive clone. You can also remotely use it to save or restore a bunch of computers if PXE and Wake-on-LAN are supported in your clients.
  • The image file can be on local disk, ssh server, samba server, NFS server or WebDAV server.
  • AES-256 encryption could be used to secures data access, storage and transfer.
  • Based on Partclone (default), Partimage (optional), ntfsclone (optional), or dd to image or clone a partition. However, Clonezilla, containing some other programs, can save and restore not only partitions, but also a whole disk.
  • By using another free software drbl-winroll, which is also developed by us, the hostname, group, and SID of cloned MS windows machine can be automatically changed.


Another option is Acronis True Image: https://www.acronis.com/en-us/personal/true-image-features/

It does use ext4. I’ve mentioned using clonezilla live previously. One note it clones, drive/partition to drive/partition. So if old and new are the same size, great. If you’re going to a larger drive you’ll need to resize the new drive. But it is otherwise useful for this.

Depends on your situation. If you’re a Windows user, using a a live boot like gparted or clonzilla for cloning might save some frustration

One easy method, let the tablo partition and format the new drive. Use, for example, a Linux Mint live, if you live in windows, and then just copy (rsync works great for this) the files over.

There are various routes. If you’re bold and know exactly what you’re doing you could use dd.

Thanks for all the good input on this topic - below is what I wound up doing:

  • Downloaded & installed Tablo Ripper - GREAT TOOL. I organized all the series each into it’s own folder and pointed Kodi at the folders for “TV Shows”. Works like a champ
  • Installed a WD Elements 2TB - so far so good. I wound up doing a factory reset to get the Tablo to format and recognize the drive. Unfortunately, that cleared all my recording preferences so I had to go back in and select shows I want recorded going forward on the new drive.
1 Like

Back in 2016 someone asked about copying the hard drive, and I posted this at the time (I use a mac )

You might be best off using a Gparted boot CD / thumb on your mac … this is probably the best/safest way to “downsize” since dd would only work as you are using it on a 1 to 1 clone … any resizing needs the resizefs command (linux) to adjust the partition tables … gParted handles this for you … make a gparted bootable CD or USB drive and boot your mac into gParted (if using a burned CD hold down the C key while booting your mac with the cd in the drive… or you can hold down the Option key instead to choose from available bootable devices currently attached)

the reason your mac doesnt recognize the disk is it needs a 3rd part filesystem plugin eg…ExtFS to be able to read/write to EXT formatted disks.

(I am a Mac user myself and have extensive Linux and Windows experience)


(I used a Virtual machine “VMWARE” and booted off the gparted ISO file with the two hard drives in question connected to the virtual machine running the gparted ISO file)

dd and resize2fs are defiantly not novice commands! clonzillalive again, only does the same size and is command line driven.

I agree using gparted. It is has a GUI aka user-friendly application. You still should do some research and have some idea what you’re doing. In the end you’ll most likely find it’s rather pain free.

Using “dd” is sort of old school. You can just use “cp” on the device nowadays. You can’t do this (in any way) if moving from a 512 sector size to a 4K, just an fyi. Once you copy the old block device (old disk) to the new block device (new disk), you have to modify the partition table (using whichever linux command line tool you prefer) before you can do the resize2fs. While you can say this isn’t for the novice, it’s really not for someone that doesn’t know Linux. Just ask a friendly Linux neighbor for help, I’m sure they can get this done (that is, it’s not hard, and most will know what to do).

I’m not saying that Tablo doesn’t need to facilitate the operation, I’m just pointing out that it’s sort of “Linux 101”. And Linux people love to help out other people.

Absolutely! When I first mentioned it several posts up,

I never intended for anyone to attempt to use it… then it was mentioned. So gave a bit of a warning. I’d say it is not a recommended method for much. It has uses, I use it to write ISO to USB… but it’s nickname - disk destroyer should be taken seriously!

Yes, I’ve discovered the easiest seems to let tablo set up the new disk then just use a copy command old to new. Presuming your first disk is still functional - it can really be that easy!

Just followed this using Windows 10 with the Paragon Linux FS support software. Migrated from a larger HD to a smaller SSD (500GB SanDisk).

Seems to have worked well, happy with the results.


1 Like

Are you using a Mac?