'Tested' Hard Drives


ALSO - is it possible that a particular cable could affect this issue? I did try with 3 different cables and no apparently different results, but I’m obviously not monitoring the power draw of the drive.


If you’re somewhat handy, you could build a special cable that would separate out the power and data lines, using an external power supply such as a phone charger (or computer USB port, etc.) to provide power to the USB drive, and connecting only the drive’s data lines to the Tablo. I don’t advise this though, unless you really know what you’re doing, and even then, triple check everything. You could also use a VOM to measure the current that the drive is pulling and compare it against the spec.

Also, though your computer may not be able to see the drive’s data because of the way its formatted, you might try plugging it in to your computer’s USB port and see if it complains.


That’s the tough part, if you don’t have the right multimeter.
A USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 multimeter is good.
Tablo has USB 2.0 ports, so USB 3.0 is overkill, but hey.

Of course, I never thought I might need one, but now that you asked your question…

I ordered a USB 3.0 multimeter:

There’s also a USB 2.0 version:


Yeah, I DO NOT know what I’m doing, so that whole “hack a hybrid cable” scenario is not going to happen :wink: Thanks, though!

I never really considered that such a thing as a USB Multimeter actually exists. I mean, OF COURSE it does, but wow.

I was able to see and test the drive from my PC without incident. I didn’t mount it as a PC drive of course.

Well. I guess I’ll just buy the stupid powered USB hub anyway. Cheaper than a USB 3 mutlimeter.

Thanks, guys. Really appreciate the help.


You don’t need the USB 3 multimeter, the USB 2 will do just fine.
The Tablo uses USB 2.
Your USB 3 drive is backward compatible with USB 2.

Since we have the same model drive, I’ll report back with my power draw readings, and then you’ll know how much a working Tablo, and hard drive should use.


Okie dokie.
We have the same model USB hard drive.

Mine is drawing this much when idle…

Mine is drawing this much when recording…

Since 5 volts at 0.5 amps (500 milliamps) is the maximum power a typical USB port can provide, it looks like this drive should be well within the power draw specification limits.

If your Tablo reports that the drive exceeds its USB power draw limits, then there’s something wrong with the drive, or something wrong with your Tablo’s USB port.


Any chance that a list is going to be created from this blog? It looks like it is over 2 years old and a lot of people have put input a lot of information. 406 replies that you have to sift through, almost useless, since the estimated read time alone is 87 minutes, and there is no comprehensive list.

The “Back Away from that Flash Drive - USB Hard Drive Suggestions & Specs” blog recommends a 5Tb hard drive that has been discontinued, albeit still available for the the hefty price of $260 on Amazon.com. What about its replacement, the STEB5000100, which is readily available for 1/2 the price?

The “What kind of Hard Drives does Tablo support?” from the knowledge base says that any Western Digital Elements is the most recommended, which kind of conflicts with the “Back Away…” blog, which says Portable Elements Only. Could you please confirm that WD Elements 5Tb Desktop, is a good choice. It is readily available at 60% of the price of the Seagate you recommended. Unfortunately, I can’t find very much info on it. 44 Anazon reviews compared to thousands for the Seagates.

I just upgraded from a 2 tuner to a 4 tuner Tablo and figured now is the time to upgrade from a 2 Tb hard drive to a 5 Tb. I owned the 2 tuner Tablo for about 18 months and I am kinda flabbergasted that picking out a tried and true Hard drive is still an issue for a DVR.

Oh, and the current Hard Drive that I am using, 2TB Elements Portable Hard Drive -

BRAND NAME - Western Digital
PRODUCT NAME - Elements Portable

@TabloTV @TabloSupport


We’ll be updating a lot of our ‘guides’ over the next few months. Stay tuned!


That is great to hear. Is the STEB5000100 a good choice? Is the WD Elements 5 TB Desktop a good choice? Thanks in advance for your help. I was hoping to upgrade my Hard Drive now, before I filled my current one.


@OTAsurfer Haven’t heard any major problems with that one so :thumbsup:


Which one, the seagate STEB5000100 or the WD Elements 5TB Desktop?


Sorry - the Elements! We’d had good luck across that series.


Sorry to bother you again, but so it doesn’t need to be a Portable? The Elements Desktop has its own power source. Is that ok?


@OTAsurfer - Yes, while we had seen issues previously with powered drives, they seem to have been resolved when we added support for larger drives.




I am very close to upgrading from 1 TB to 8 TB…
Is there a way to copy the 1 TB data to the 8 TB drive?
I am fairly NEW here… There is probably something about this somewhere that I have not found…
Can someone answer this question for me?

Thank you very much


See this thread: How to migrate to a bigger drive?


Is Western Digital
4.0 out of 5 stars 65 Reviews
WD 8TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive - USB 3.0 - WDBFJK0080HBK-NESN work with Tablo? My Seagate 5 TB is starting to fail :frowning:


Thank you very much,


BRAND: Samsung
PRODUCT NAME:T3 Portable SSD - 500GB - USB 3.1 External SSD (MU-PT500B/AM)
LINK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AVF6UQQ/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_3

Samsung T3 Portable SSD - 500GB - USB 3.1 External SSD (MU-PT500B/AM)