ReviewsIn-depth Review of the HP X510 Data Vault Windows...

In-depth Review of the HP X510 Data Vault Windows Home Server


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HP have released a number of Windows Home Servers over the last 2 years since Windows Home Server was launched. Now comes a Windows Home Server from HP that is aimed at the business user instead of the home user.


The X510 Data Vault Specification is as follows:

Processor : Intel Pentium Dual Core 2.5Ghz

Memory : 2GB DDR2

Capacity included : either 1 TB, 1.5 TB or 2 TB depending on the model

Open Bays : 2 or 3 depending on the model

Ports : 4 USB and 1 eSATA

Dimensions (inches) : 5.5 x 9.8 x 9.2

And those of you out there that want to use the eSATA port as a port multiplier will be happy to hear that HP have re-enabled it after the EX48x series only allowed connection of a single eSATA drive to the port! Good job HP, again, good listening to your customers feedback.


For those of you out there that love the shots of the box – yes, you know who you are, here it is. You will notice that the X510 box is a plain brown affair, instead of the usual black with coloured graphics. Personally I think this is more to do with businesses expecting plain packaging and not pretty colours and graphics.



The contents of the box are very well packaged, you can simply lift out the X510 without any fuss. The box itself contains the X510, an Ethernet cable, a power cable, 3 software DVDs and the usual HP Setup Poster to get you going.



The X510 has the same look and feel as the previous HP MediaSmart servers – its small, sleek, a nice shiny black and it opens at the front to review the 4 disk drive bays.

002 003 004 005 006


Installing the software is just the same as on any other Windows Home Server – you just install the software on one of your network connected computers and just follow the steps. For those of you who like screenshots, here is a step by step through the installation process.

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As with the installation, the configuration steps are just the same – just walk through the questions and you will be ready to go. Notice that the default name for the X510 is HPSTORAGE. Again, here are the screenshot walkthroughs for those of you who are interested.

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The first time you launch the Windows Home Server Connector the software will check to see if there are any HP specific updates that you might need. Given that the X510 has only been available a couple of weeks it was a bit of a surprise to see an update already.

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This is where things get interesting and are different to what HP have done in the past. You will notice a whole new look and feel to the HP elements of the Windows Home Server Console including a Tour option that enables you to click on elements to see what they are and do. I really like this new look and feel and in my opinion will make it so much easier for those new users to get to grips with the Home Server in no time at all.

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And here are the screenshots of the usual Windows Home Server Console elements.

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I noticed that the Windows Home Server Connector software did not automatically update with the HP Data Vault  3.0 Update 1 package. I also noticed that I had a connection error with the HP Media Collector, but the Home Network Health information screen had advised me that the version of the software installed on my computer wasn’t compatible with the server and that I should uninstall and reinstall – which I did and it corrected the problem. For those of you interested, my computer OS is the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Ultimate. This is the same issue I had with the HP MediaSmart EX495, but then as they are pretty much the same bit of kit it is not surprising.

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So, what do I think? Well, regular readers will know that I am a big fan of the HP MediaSmart Servers and the X510 is no exception. Yeah, I know that is the same thing I wrote about the EX495 for you eagle eyed readers, but it is in essence the same device, only aimed at businesses.

It is really quiet – now of course it only has a single drive in it out of the box but if you were to add some of the green quiet drives to it, this should help keep the noise down.

It is really good to see the eSATA port re-enabled as a port multiplier – so well done HP!

The new look and feel in the Windows Home Server is very intuitive and it is very easy to find what you are looking for. I know I am used to the console having used Windows Home Server now for nearly 3 years, but I honestly believe HP have done a lot to make it easier for those new users to find what they are looking for and also to guide them through doing whatever it is that they need to do.

So, why would you buy the X510 and not the EX495? Well for a start, if you were in the UK, you cannot get the EX495 but you can buy the X510. So there is probably the single biggest reason for buying it!

The software and hardware is exactly the same, the only difference is the Data Vault tab instead of the MediaSmart tab.

Basically this is a great Windows Home Server and you really can’t go wrong buying one!

List pricing for the UK is as follows:

(1 TB) £419.79

(2 TB) £516.34

(3 TB) £599.95

For the US market the prices are starting from $699 for the 1 TB and peaking at $999 for the 3 TB model.

Andrew Edney
Andrew Edney
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.


  1. Nice review, Glad there is little difference between the EX495 and X510.

    Shame there are no stock anywhere in the UK to buy a X510 yet, Plenty of review models for people to test and review :-). I have been trying to buy one from PCWB but they cancelled my order of a X510 1TB telling me the product is obsolete (yeah right).

  2. Hi Andrew,

    The software and hardware is exactly the same.

    The EX495 comes with a 1,5TB drive for the same price as the X510. The X510 is available as:

    Q2050A 1TB

    Q2051A 2TB

    Q2052A 3TB this unit would have 2 1.5 drives.

    Also, you just install the software on one of your network connected computers

    Yes, you are using your PC to get the software onto the server but for the EX49x.X510 there is no internal USB flash to start the restore through the network as there is on the EX47x/48x. These servers require a direct connection between the server and PC. The server is booted into PXE mode and waits for a TFTP from the PC .

  3. Great stuff .. and thanks for shipping it to Europe now!!!

    But you'll have to pay for it, exactly twice as much as I payed for my Scaleo 2205 [2TB n 2GB] this summer in Sweden. But then .. if you put together the no.1 whs-product I'll guess you can double the price 🙂

  4. Hi Andrew,

    Ok now I am very confused as I find it hard to believe that HP would release the EX490 for the home user then the X510 for the buiseness user and there be no difference other than the Data Vault tab instead of the MediaSmart tab.

    Surely anyone with some common scence should go for the X510 with its faster processor unless HP have some real distinction between the buiseness and home WHS setup?

    I realise this has been covered in your review but can you confirm that there is definatly no software differences other than name changes between the X510 and the EX490?

    With Thanks,

    Graham Cannell

    • Graham

      You need to understand that it is 2 different divisions of HP – one looking at the home and one looking at business. They dont have to talk to each other – and like most large companies they probably dont talk at all!

      If it had been me, I would have released the EX495 in the UK instead of the EX490, but they have done what they have done and there has been no clear reason given other than that it was they decided to do.

      I agree, I would go for the X510 myself, and in fact I have the X510 as my main production WHS at the moment for that very reason.

      It is the same version 3 softare, only one has a MediaSmart tab and the other a Datavault tab.


  5. Graham

    Does the Data Vault tab have exactly the same features listed as the MediaSmart tab on the EX495?

    Also, does the X510 come with the Mac Client Connector Software that I can install on my Macs after initial Windows based setup?


    • Dave

      Yes, its the very same software and hardware – they just changed the name of the name and the machine.


  6. Andrew,

    I've had the chance now to test and compare H340, EX490 and finally the X510. X510 was just so much faster, so I bough it! (

    • Hi Erling

      I dont know, sorry. But why dont you post this question in our forums as I am sure there will be someone who will be able to answer it.


  7. Does anyone have any view on the EX490 comparted to the X510? What's the major differences and such?

    I live in Norway and the EX495 is not available here. Therefore these to are my choice. However Im uncertain is its really necessery to buy the X510 instead of the EX490.

    • Rune

      The EX490 has a slower processor than the EX495 (Which is identical to the X510).

      Other than that its pretty much the same.

      Depends on what you want to do with it. If you plan on doing a lot of media transcoding, I would recommend the X510.


  8. Howdy.

    Is it possible to change the drive to another? I was thinking about using 4 Seagate ST32000641AS (2TB SATA 6Gb/s, 7200 rpm) instead, is that possible ?

    I know the X510 dosen

    • Jan

      I havent tried the disks so I dont know – I would suggest contacting HP Support to ask them.

      As for what is on the existing disks, its just the WHS software. You should have server rebuild DVDs in the box which you can use to reinstall WHS to your new disks.


  9. Howdy.

    Thanks for a quick reply 🙂

    HP support is like a blank pice of paper, well only one way to find out 🙂

    Have a nice weekend.


  10. I just wanted to say that the ex490 not only has a slower processor but is only a single core processor as opposed to the ex495/x510 which has a dual core.

    So it's almost a no brainer as both cost almost the same price in the UK (that I've seen).

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