Will removal of spinning HDD fix most glitches of Tablo 4th Gen?

Hi, fellow Tablo users !!! I have a 4th gen Tablo 2 channel version I got before Christmas as a present. Worked ok with a few glitches (but non earth shattering). Updated to newest Firmware as of 01/03/2024.
Tested on LG TV using Roku (latest firmware version).

Then I added my external Western Digital (WD) My Passport Ultra 1TB HARD DISK DRIVE (mechanical hard disk - PN WDBZFP0010BBK-05) a few days ago. Plugged it into Tablo, allowed Tablo to format it and away we flew.

Soon thereafter, mayhem ensued. Glitches galore. Reboots to Roku. 10 minutes viewing, then jumps back 30 seconds or so, or jumps completely out of Tablo app back to Roku.

Ok. Had enough. So I unplugged the HDD from Tablo and prepared to return said Tablo unit to Best Buy.

BUT… the major glitches are now gone!!!

So… Using the internal 128 GB SSD memory of the Tablo had few glitch effects, where plugging in an external HDD (in THIS case) probably caused major glitching for the Tablo firmware.

So… if you are having major problems, unplug the external HDD (or SSD if glitch prone also) and see IF the Tablo behavior improves. If so, let Tablo know about this cause and effect and this might guide them into a proper solution. (It might be a SPEED issue for data transfer to and from the external drive (where a SSD drive may be the best solution- I don’t have an external to test this).

I’ll keep an eye on my Tablo… seems to be running just fine now. Thanks. Tommy T.

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@TinkerDog - I had similar thing happen with an external drive that was brand new but was able to hook up another brand new drive and everything has been working fine with it. Most hard drive have the ability to identify when there is a bad segment and mark it so the os won’t use it for storage but with Tablo formatting the drive I think it cause that feature to go away and if the drive has any issues then it just reeks havoc with Tablo when it uses that bad segment for storage.

Were both drives the same make and model? Some disk drive mdels draw more power than others and can load down the internal power supply in the Tablo.

If they are different, please list both models and indicate pass or fail. That will help others.
If they are the same model, then the manufacturer has a quality control issue.

I believe Tablo has a list of acceptable disk drives somewhere.


All of these drives were brand new.

The drive that has been working very well and without issues with both a 4th gen 2 tuner and 4 tuner Tablo:

Seagate - 2TB External USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive with Rescue Data Recovery Services - Black
Model: STGX2000400

The drive that had trouble with 4th gen 4 tuner Tablo:

Seagate - One Touch with Password 2TB External USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive with Rescue DataRecovery Services - Black
Model: STKY2000400

Another drive that I tested with and worked fine was
4th gen 4 tuner Tablo:

Seagate - 5TB External USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive with Rescue Data Recovery Services - Black
Model: STGX5000400

I’m figuring the one drive that Tablo had trouble with probably had bad blocks or sectors, but I don’t know for sure.

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Someone said that model worked for them but to me that doesn’t look like a good drive for the Tablo. You shouldn’t use a spinning drive that doesn’t have an external power source. You may get away with a solid state drive without external power though.

Well, my Tablo went back to its previous very glitchy state again tonight ( No HDD or SSD connected). Jumping out of Tablo back to Roku after about 5 to 10 minutes showing TV from the Guide.

So DISREGARD my posting on this subject. I was WRONG.

Thanks for the feedback.

None of these drives had external power sources. All use the USB for power only and I tested with SSD’s also and saw no benefit in performance so for the price, I went hdd.

There are good and bad with SSD drives. The speed of reads and writes and if you want to carry it around SSDs are more durable because there are no moving parts and the amount of electrical current is less.

As I mentioned, I didn’t notice any significant difference in performance with the USB 2.0 that is attached to the 4th gen Tablo. I have no intention of moving or carrying the drive once it was connected and with the hdd’s using the USB for power I didn’t see it as a huge drain on my wallet.

The one bad issue with SSD and Tablo dvr is the constant record, delete, record, delete over the same sectors can weaken a SSD. As data is continuously written and erased, the electrical charge within the NAND cells can wear out which I’ve learned when an SSD has issues it usually has a complete and total failure of the drive and almost always makes them unrecoverable unlike a traditional hard drive which you can always bypass bad blocks/sectors or use low-level format and mark the bad blocks/sectors and keep on using.

I really do like SSDs and I have a couple of SSD’s and I use them on my computer for storing images, backups and stuff that I write once and read often like apps. I carry them with me in my computer bag and I use them regularly. If you have an SSD, you don’t want to store stuff on it and put it away in a draw for months/years because those same NAND cells can dry out and go bad from lack of usage also.

Some people do well with the smaller laptop style spinning drives(2.5" 5400rpm). Those are at least made for power efficiency but I’m not convinced they are consistent for use with a Tablo. I generally recommend getting a powered drive.

There’s no reason to expect an SSD to outperform a spinning drive on the Tablo because the Tablo is the limiting factor. You would notice a difference if you used an SSD for a boot drive in a modern computer though.

They address that with load leveling. An SSD doesn’t just write in a linear fashion like a spinning hard disk. I haven’t found wear to be an issue personally.

My understanding is SSD firmware marks bad blocks without user intervention so there is nothing to tweak. The SSD just runs until it can’t anymore. The same would happen with a spinning drive if you just kept marking bad blocks as bad. At some point it will result in failure. You can use tools on a PC to keep track of bad sectors on SSDs if you want. An increasing number of bad blocks can be an indication of a potential failure. I’ve only had one SSD failure personally. Modern drives of either type are so reliable these days it’s tough to judge a drive solely from personal experience. Failure rates coming from data farms is useful though. Some big companies post that data.

What tool can you use on a PC that can identify and mark bad sectors on an ssd which would prevent Tablo or other apps from reading or writing those sectors?

:slight_smile: Uh, if you’re burning out cells on an SSD, you may have bigger fish to fry.

Tablo (all gens) are “black boxes”, so while there are “ways” (and I’m used to talking about spinny disk here) to avoid “bad blocks”, since Tablo is a very very very very very very closed system, you’re pretty much at their mercy with regards to what can and cannot be done.

I’ve never burned out an ssd but then I’ve never used an ssd for managing a dvr, so when it comes to burnout I’m only going based on what I’ve read from other sources or people that I’ve spoken with and what I’ve read in this community.

I have old spinning hard drives that I’ve had for more years than I care to admit and never had one of those fail either. Doesn’t mean it’s bad or good but that it works.

Like I said, I based my decision on several factors including price, performance & good and bad with each drive type and decided not to spend more money on the drive than the device I was connecting it to. I guess if the drive dies then I may rethink my decision.

You don’t “mark” the bad sectors as you would traditionally with a spinning drive. The SSD marks bad sectors itself. You can use standard software to identify bad sectors for your own edification and you can keep track of those scans. They say ChkDsk can find the bad sectors. I haven’t tried it because I don’t think it’s worth the effort. It would require temporarily removing the drive from the Tablo and it’s not something I would recommend doing regularly. A scan before installation and another scan if problems started occurring would be insightful however. I think it’s better to just have good backups and let the drives do their job.