Need to change my hard drive

The HD that I have been using ever since I got the Tablo is getting full. I have many recordings on it and don’t want to loose them.
Can I turn the unit off and remove the existing drive and install and set up the new one with the option of hooking the old one back up at a later time?
I would like to be able to watch the recordings on both drives(not at the same time)
I guess my question is can I swap drives as needed?


Do I need to do anything to the Tablo? I read somewhere that the list of recordings is stored on the Tablo itself? Would I need to do a factory reset? Thanks

That should work fine.

If it were me, I would just copy everything over to the new drive. Connect the new drive to the tablo, let it format it, then connect both drives to a PC, start Linux (a virtual machine is fine), and copy everything over from old to new.

I think you will lose all your shows that way. The Tablo won’t see the old files copied to the new drive.
Am I wrong ?

See this old post

Well now I’m more confused than ever… Some say it will work fine, others say no. I guess I need to contact support. Do the powers that be monitor these forums? I seems to me that if the Tablo has formatted both drives and the directory info is on both drives why would it not work to just swap the drives? Am I missing something here? Thanks


Find posting from Babble bits and follow. I did this 1 TB to 5 TB disk

They do monitor but you are better off submitting an official ticket if you want a quickeer and more thorough response.

I will try to assist as well.

You have 2 options, NEITHER of which should include a Tablo factory reset. A Tablo factory reset WILL wipe the ability to watch any of your old recordings, period.

The Tablo itself contains references to the recorded content that allows you to access them for viewing.

Again, 2 options.

1 - Disconnect the old Hard drive and connect the new one. The problem here is that the recording listing in the Tablo will not know which hdd has which shows so you would have to keep a list and swap them back and forth and of course you would have to be careful to make sure you arent trying to watch something on the old hdd while it starts a new recording…

This does work and is mentioned in a couple threads here but I feel like its really too much trouble.

2 - The thread linked above, which essentially has you formatting a new hdd with a linux partition / file structure, using either a linux machine or a linux driver software to transfer all the data from the old hdd to the new one, then connect the new one to the Tablo. I did this one myself and it also works.

Daniel’s correct.

It is possible for the Tablo to have two different databases for the two different drives. That being said, the big risk is that Tablo will write new recordings to whatever disk is attached at the time. So you might have the entire season of Big Bang Theory on disk 2 but the latest episode comes on while you’re watching something on disk 1 and guess where it’s going to go…

It’s much easier to save the recordings you want to preserve via one of the download utilities available via the forum and start fresh with the new drive vs. hopping back & forth between them.

Here is the official response from Tablo support:

Hi there,

Thanks for your interest in Tablo!

There is not an official method of swapping hard drives, and we do not recommend doing it - this can cause the Tablo’s database to get a little ‘confused’ and potentially corrupt.

However, you can use one of the third-party tools on the Forum (E.g Tablo Ripper) to extract the recordings over your network, and send it to another device.

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.


Tablo Support
Monday-Friday 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM ET

That probably is the safest option, but for me, at the time of swapping my hdd, I didn’t have another way to watch those recordings on my TVs. No media server, no Plex, etc.

I could have ripped them but then I would have had to watch them on the PC.

Plus it was mid season for a few shows that I was saving up to watch in succession dung the summer hiatus and wouldnt want half of them on PC and the other half on Tablo…

The Linux accessed data swap worked great for me, but I wouldn’t dismiss Tablo’s warning that it has potential for corruption… I made an educated decision that for me, it was worth the risk, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.