Tablo Disk Migration

My 5TB WD Disk

When I first got my Tablo two weeks ago, I pulled out an old 1.5TB WD USB drive to use with it. It worked great, but it wasn’t until recently that I wanted to swap it out for a newer disk that had more capacity. Sure, I will probably never use all 5TB of storage. But, it is nice to have the extra room just in case I want to store stuff to watch on a rainy day. To my surprise (and somewhat disappointment), there is no (official) way of migrating recordings from one disk to another using the Tablo device.

Thank goodness that the Tablo formats external drives in ext3 format and everything is stored as normal files. The database tracking things lives internal to the Tablo device. So, as a Linux user, migrating from one drive to another is not too bad.

  1. Unplug old drive from Tablo – there is no need to power down the Tablo itself, just unplug.
  2. Plug in new drive to Tablo.
  3. From a web browser or a tablet go the settings page for your Tablo (using a web browser go to: The Tablo will discover the new drive and ask if you want to format it. Confirm that you do by typing FORMAT in the dialog box. Wait for the drive to finish formatting.
  4. Unplug the new drive from Tablo after it has been formatted.
  5. Plug both drives into a Linux machine and mount them. I mounted my old one as /mnt/small and my new one as /mnt/big
  6. Copy the “rec” directory from the old drive to the new one. This will take some time if you have a lot of recordings. (For me, I used rsync: rsync -av –stats –progress /mnt/small/rec /mnt/big/)
  7. When the copy has finished, unmount both drives. Plug the new drive into the Tablo.
  8. Enjoy watching TV.

Maybe one day there will be an official way to migrate drives using the Tablo device itself as it has two USB ports on the back.