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Under the Covers

Figure 18 shows the inside of the Media Vault. The MV is constructed internally like a PC so getting a good picture of the mainboard was difficult. From the photo, you can see that the main functionality of the MV is provided by a Broadcom 4785 integrated processor, which is similar to the 4780. The Broadcom chip includes the main CPU, disk controller, and Ethernet. The USB support is provided by a Via VT6212 4-port USB 2.0 Host Controller.

Inside the Media Vault

Figure 18: Inside the Media Vault (click image to enlarge)

In terms of software, it's no secret that the MV is running Linux internally—the reference to the Reiser filesystem told us that. Searching the Internet for more information on the MV, I found a web page detailing the internals of the Media Vault that had been put up by an HP employee.

Information is provided on a number of different ways to extend the capabilities of the MV starting with how to get a Telnet server running so you can log in remotely. There is information on overclocking, on how to attach a serial console device, and even how to build your own custom firmware. As mentioned above, there are even instructions on how to replace and reinitialize the internal drive. With many consumer-level NAS manufacturers, if the internal drive dies, the MV becomes a doorstop. It can be a bit tricky because portions of the Linux operating system are oftentimes resident on the drive. Kudos to HP for allowing their employee to provide all of this information!

By poking around, I found information provided by Linux that showed a device with 64MB of ram that was based on a 300 MHz Broadcom embedded MIPS chip using busybox for utilities, vsftpd for the ftp server, and Samba for Windows filesharing.

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