Migrate drive to Quad that has been reset

I removed my (USB) hard drive to do some testing with another drive. Did it exactly per the knowledge base article… pressed the reset button and waited for it to stop flashing, then unplugged the drive. After the testing, I did a reset of the Tablo (two short button presses, wait for light to become steady after each and then a long button press and wait for blue light to stop flashing) then plugged the drive back in.

The knowledge base says the LED will pulse for “several minutes”. It has now been pulsing for over three hours. The 6TB drive has probably close to 2TB of shows on it. Anybody have any idea how long the pulsing can be expected to go with a drive with that much data on it? The drive is still “working” as I can feel and hear it. Just surprised to see it take so long.

I have done this before (with less data) and it only took a few minutes to stop pulsing.

Any thoughts or experience?

To close this out for anyone reading this in the future…

It finally finished. I would STRONGLY suggest if anyone from Tablo reads this that the knowledge base be changed to not say this may take “several minutes” but rather, it say, “This will take from several minutes to a number of hours to complete depending on the number of programs on the drive”

How long did it finally take?

About FOUR hours! I had about 1.5TB of shows, about 2000 recordings.

IT doesn’t actually transfer recordings, they remain on the drive. The “migrate to new tablo” article backs up the DB from the tablo’s internal storage to the drive… upon starting from a fresh state, if present it reads the DB into internal storage.

The pulsating led almost sounds like wifi setup. If it has wired network, it wasn’t recognized initially (ran into it before). If it’s been configured via wifi, since it’s been reset you’d need to reconfigure it.

Either way, this does not copy 2TB of shows - the recordings remain on the drive, the “data” is largely JSON text data.

I know it doesn’t load the recorded programs onto the Tablo itself. All it loads is the information from the drive it needs to locate the programs and display their information. That’s why is surprised me that it took so long to load this (relatively) small amount of info to the Tablo itself.

As for the pulsing LED, that’s clearly described in the knowledge base article. The LED pulses while it is loading the information to the Tablo. As mentioned above, it took about 4 hours but it finally finished and after loading the new guide data, the Tablo is back to normal and all recorded programs are available and play normally.

I suspect the time required to move the required data from the drive to the Tablo is a function of the number of programs recorded and if so, it looks like it takes about an hour per 500 recorded shows.

Well, I have to take back one of the things I said, while all the previously recorded programs show as available, NONE of them will play. It turns out only newly recorded ones will play. Hopefully the “nightly maintenance” will fix that issue but at this point, it looks like using a previously recorded drive on a new (or reset) Tablo doesn’t work as described… Crossing my fingers for the nightly update.

I would recommend not letting your Tablo do the nightly maintenance and wait for Tablo Support.

The nightly maintenance might “clean up” your DB and delete all those orphaned recordings.

good suggestion…

I’ve done it. Not intentionally, but I factory reset my tablos, swapped drives, and tablo2 became tablo1… from the restored DB. Along with what couple recordings may have been left.

I deleted the /db on each drive and started over… and then I had a freshly reset tablo.
Presuming this is what you’re referencing:

Maintenance mode does clean up the mess of rennet recordings.

So you’re saying if I DO NOT disconnect the drive, the nightly maintenance will likely render the “lost” recordings as playable again? They show up as available but won’t play. Inspection of the data on the drive shows them to be there but they won’t play.


“Clean up the mess” If you have references to recordings which don’t exist - with the same reference use to save them - nightly will clear the DB.

If you have files on the drive with nothing referencing them… they will be cleared. I believe this was how I left mine, and was surprised it did check the drive with the DB. I’m not absolutely certain, but it’s very likely.

If you want to export them, you still have that option, but with out any reference it’s a super PITA.

Hi. So I’m trying to migrate my recordings (about 3TB) from my old 2-tuner to a 4-tuner I’ve got. I followed the procedure and the new tablo has been blinking for about 4 hours already. I’m starting to think that I’ll end up with my recordings not being able to be played in my new Tablo. This reminds me of last year when I tried to migrate my old recordings (around 800GB) to a new 6TB drive and it also failed (recordings not being able to be played).
I think the only way to use a new Tablo and not loose the recordings is to use Tablo Exporter or something similar to extract the recordings… I’m glad I already did this before (because of my new 6TB drive) and that I setup a Plex server. I’ll have to do the same thing again! (rolling eyes)
Tablo is an awesome product and quite reliable and good. For me it’s still the best DVR available. So I won’t complain too much.

Your new 4 tuner Tablo is one of the network connected DVRs such as the OG Tablo 4 tuner or Tablo QUAD? Not the TV connected DVR such as the QUAD HDMI?

Don’t give up! If you did it right, it takes about 2 hours per TB to move the data over. If the LED is still “pulsing” (not flashing), hang on, it WILL get there. BTW, does the new Tablo have the same version software as the one the recordings were made on? Supposedly that’s a requirement but I’ve not tested that


My new 4-tuner Tablo is a network connected one (SPVR4-01, the original 4-tuner). My old 2-tuner Tablo is the SPVR2-01 (original 2 tuner). Both are network connected, not HDMI. So the procedure should work in theory.

Ok… I was trying to give a try again this morning and I think I might have lost my 3TB of recordings… :’(
I was in a hurry this morning so I did the mistake of just powering off the old Tablo, disconnect it, plug everything to the new Tablo (including the drive) and powering it up. The LED blinked only for a minute or so. So I went to see and all my recordings were showing up but they couldn’t be played. So I tried to connect my drive again to my old 2-tuner Tablo and it also couldn’t play any of my recordings. So I think that I might have lost them all… I get this error message when I try to play a recording: "Your tuner has been reassigned or your device has temporarily lost connection with your Tablo.
I think I should have just used Tablo Exporter :’(.
I will try to reset my new 4-tuner Tablo and try to make it import the recordings in the drive. I wonder if it can work again that way…

I would leave everything as it is so the situation isn’t complicated more and open a ticket with @TabloSupport to see if there is anything then can do to assist you.

Ok! Thanks for the advice. I’ll open a ticket with Tablo Support. I checked and I can still see the drive is reporting 3TB of data. So the drive wasn’t formatted and my recordings might still be there. Probably my Tablos aren’t just “mapping” the recordings…

My guess is it’s related to the internal database of show details on the Tablo itself.