Recovering Show from good drive/dead tablo

Occasionally there’s a great misunfortunate when a tablo dies… yet users can still access their drive and just know there are shows on there they’d like to salvage. --then there are those who think they know what they’re doing venture in to trouble shooting and loose the internal DB while the drive is still intact with no way way to salvage their recordings.

Now I’m sure there are users and/or developers here who could do a better job understanding (researching) and explaining this and perhaps a more user-friendly method. Me, it’s was mostly a “will this work” …and it did.

-Stumbled upon handbrake, a wrapper for ffmpeg. (I read ffmpeg, by developers for developers - you read it’s docs)

since my tablo was recording, I didn’t actually connect it to my PC. I used lftp to mirror one of the segs directory. it was just easier but should have no impact on the outcome.

Connect your drive to your PC, I don’t know about window, I understand they are coming around and may be able to access the filesystem directly.

If you didn’t already know, you’ll have little to no idea what shows are what, so if you have 1Ks… well even hundreds :confounded: . You might get a slight clue looking at the snap.jpg in each numbered folder (maybe the thumbnails in snap_grid).

Back to handbrake, click “Open Source” - the input source for your video/show. You want to just single-click select the folder not open segs. If you’ve selected the directory/folder the Title drop-down should have multiple entries ie) 1 - 00h05m09s - 0001 sequentially.

As for any of the settings and configuration options – no real idea, except give it a name and select location to store the completed video. Right, since I had no real clue I clicked around and left it alone for now.

At this point click Start wait a bit, and you’ll have show. A virtually pain free video… now you’ll have to figure out what show it is. So all this depends how important salvaging recordings are to you.

As for exporting with a functioning tablo, there are of course much better tools available.
This worked for me, I went through it twice, to make sure I was getting each step, as rather simple as they are. If you ever find yourself in in this situation, hope not, I hope this may help some one some day.

– a factory reset is not a troubleshooting step.

I have a .c program that may work for you.
You have to manually do a “dir” or “ls”, depending on the operating system, and direct it’s output to a file, with any name you want. Then use my .c program to extract the .ts files. It also looks into the meta file to create a name for this .ts file.
More specifics can follow if there is any interest.

I didn’t know any meta file or meta information was stored on the physical drive… well, it does back up sqliteDB so as to allow swapping to another tablo.

The .ts files are directly accessible as is. I’m not sure what your tool is needed for.

With a fully functional tablo you can use ffmpeg directly to create an mp4 from the .ts segments with the playlist file – it’s easier to use a 3rd party app.

My tool simply looks at the meta file to dream up a name to give all the concatenated .ts files.
So, you get a filename something like ;

if the tablo device is dead, what meta file are you reading?

It’s been a while since I did this - I’ll have to go look.

From the top of the drive’s directory structure :

rec/[a number]/meta.txt

such as “yourDrive”/rec/6945/meta.txt

I just parse through this meta.txt file to produce a new name for the concatenated .ts file.

All the files under rec[a number]/

how old is that, or what firmware? they don’t do that anymore

root@htpc:/mnt/rec/283364# ls -al
total 5192
drwxr-xr-x  7 root root    4096 Apr 11 23:03 .
drwxr-xr-x 34 dj   dj      4096 Apr 13 10:59 ..
drwx------  2 root root    4096 Apr 11 23:01 log
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root    4096 Apr 11 23:01 pl
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root    4096 Apr 11 22:59 segs
-rw-r--r--  1 root root       0 Apr 11 23:03 snap_done
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root    4096 Apr 11 23:03 snap_grid
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 3087405 Apr 11 23:03 snap_hd.bif
-rw-r--r--  1 root root    9931 Apr 11 22:06 snap.jpg
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   88176 Apr 11 23:01 snap.kfi
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 2097122 Apr 11 23:01 snap_sd.bif
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root    4096 Apr 11 23:03 tmp

Ah, that was from an old drive I had. I’ll have to look at a more recent recording.

I looked on that same drive for more recent folders, and I’m sad to report “meta.txt” is indeed missing.
Why would that disappear ??? I looked pretty hard for this info in other places, but no luck.

This just means my tool is now completely useless. I was pretty proud of it, but now I’m just sad.

Well, it’s above me. There is the backed up tablo DB in the /DB directory. Depending how old it is it may, theoretically possible to match recordings to the directory numbers. But then this would only be a last resort if your tablo no longer functions and you really really wanted to salvage some of the shows.