Building a 1TB home server

with Raid 1 redundancy for under $600 incl. shipping.

I set out to convert a basic HP Media Vault MV2120 to a 2 TB server.

The MV Server shipped with one 500GB Seagate Barracuda Drive (7200.10 : Model: ST3500650AS. The AS indicates this is a “desktop” drive, not a server specific drive): ($280 - Newegg)

I separately purchased two Seagate Barracuda Drives: ST310000340AS ($130 – Note that Seagate offers three flavors of these drives – the AS version is the “desktop” model, with a 85 year MTBF. The EN & ES suffixed drives (network and enterprise server class) are significantly more expensive.


A good reference for the equipment can be found at:

HP Troubleshooting MV2120

(full link:

Another good site for info is:


From the HP site you need to download:

Media Vault Firmware

Media Vault Firmware Recovery Utility


(at time of writing there are the only tools available for the MV2120 – the location to check for others and more recent versions of these go to:

Software and Driver Downloads)


The upgrade process is very simple:

  1. Download and install first the firmware load utility and then the firmware image onto your PC.

  2. Turn off the MV2120.

  3. Remove the front grill and gently pull out the original disk.

  4. Take the mounting screws off the side of the old drive and install them on the new drive. Insert the disk in the systems bay. (leave MV2120 turned OFF).

  5. Set aside the old disk until you've fully tested and run the system for a few days; (remember: this is your “get out of jail free card” in case your new drives or your reload don't work. You can still have a 500 GB system under full warranty rather than a $300 doorstop.)

  6. From your PC, run the Recovery Utility (the HELP button in the software explains Recovery startup in detail.) Once the recovery load starts, it runs about 15 minutes, so this is a good time to catch up on emails.

  7. After recovery completes the system will be visible on the network. Check it for completeness using the MV utilities (see DISK menu selection)

  8. Everything OK? Good! Turn the MV2120 off.

  9. Reinstall the grill now. (It won't fit easily once you insert the second drive.)

  10. Install the second new 1 TB disk in the carrier and slide into the upper bay. (I love the absence of cables! Everything just “plugs in” - just like on the “Pro” models in a data center (but please note: these drives are NOT hot swappable).

  11. Turn the MV2120 on normally.

  12. Once booting completes, from your PC browser view the MV DISKS utility again. You should see the new disk. Click on the little tiny ADD icon.

  13. It should ask if you want to mirror or extend (JBOD) your drive space. Pick your choice.

  14. Wait 10 hours (Yep, 10 hours) while it mirrors the original drive (although you can start using the MV after letting it mirror for about 10 minutes, just no big backups until it finishes making the mirror (-l.d.).

  15. Reboot the system (just to be on the safe side!)

  16. Use the system.


Art Held