How to Install Command Center for a Non-Alienware Motherboard

Discussion in 'Area-51' started by AVictorD, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. AVictorD

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    This is a guide to install the Alienware Command Center (CC) software onto any non-Alienware motherboard (e.g. ASUS Sabertooth 990FX) where the Alienware MIO or F/IO board is attached. Typically this method is used for Alienware cases such as Area-51 R1 & R2, All Aurora’s, X51 etc.

    The following you do at YOUR OWN RISK. I take no responsibility if you damage your system.

    Note: Testing has been confirmed for Area-51 R1 and associated MIO board with ASUS Motherboard for version CC 2.8.11. For CC 3, 3.6 have also been confirmed for Area-51 and Aurora R4 respectively. The .NET version on the system will need to be 3.5 and above.

    Now let’s BEGIN…

    Typically most people find when they change their OEM Alienware motherboard and try to install the CC version that suits their case and MIO board they receive this error:
    Install error.png

    The following is based on an Area-51 R1 case with its MIO board. To get around the installation error do the following steps:

    1) Logon to your Alienware desktop with Alienware Motherboard
    (if you don’t have an Alienware desktop with Alienware motherboard you will need to make a request to a friend or others for the matching BIOS key – see next step) sample Area-51 R1 provided below

    2) Run Regedit.exe on Alienware desktop

    a. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System\BIOS
    (note: Win 7 and Win 10 are similar structure for this key both should work, Win 8 not tested)

    b. Select BIOS key and right mouse click and select “Export” and save on selected network or portable drive call it “Alienware BIOS.reg”
    (note: recommend using network drive so that your new desktop system or build can use it)

    SbrTooth990FxHack Capture.JPG


    3) Now logon to New Desktop
    (Alienware case with it MIO and 3rd Party motherboard)

    4) Download “Command Center 2.8.11” as an example (or the CC version that suits your case/MIO) from link onto a network or portable drive for example the Area-51 R1 case + MIO will be used.
    http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverid=442CY

    5) Copy from network the file App_DT_AWCC28110_W8_Setup_442CY_ZPE.exe to download folder

    LET FUN BEGIN….

    6) Run Regedit.exe on New Desktop

    a. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System\BIOS

    b. Select BIOS key and right mouse click and select “Export” and save on selected drive call it “Desktop BIOS.reg” (backup copy of BIOS key)

    SbrTooth990Fx Capture.JPG

    7) Import “Alienware BIOS.reg” from your saved network (or other) location from above
    The New Desktop BIOS key should have the same BIOS key as the Alienware desktop from step1
    (compare as required by looking at the .reg file)
    SbrTooth990FxHack Capture.JPG

    8) Keep Regedit running on New Desktopdon’t exit

    9) Run App_DT_AWCC28110_W8_Setup_442CY_ZPE.exe (CC 2.8.11) on New Desktopfrom network or portable drive follow the instructions
    (note: Command Center Install will think the system is a legitimate Alienware system and should execute correctly)

    a. When complete (and if it has worked) select Reboot Later radio button on Install Page
    (IMPORTANT do not select reboot option)

    Capture2.JPG

    10) Go to Regedit on New Desktop (important: Follow this Step if the install has failed)

    a. Select “File” menu to replace back the original BIOS key. Select Import and select the “Desktop BIOS.reg” that you saved in previous step.

    b. Check the Import go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System\BIOS

    c. Exit Regedit.​

    NOTE: You can select the reboot option as your system will place back the BIOS key based on the Motherboard you have in the system.


    11) REBOOTthe New Desktopsystem.

    12) That’s it the final result a working CC for your Hybrid Alienware system…Good Luck

    Capture3.JPG

    Sample Area-51 R1 BIOS key (place into “Area-51 BIOS key.txt” file then rename to file with “.reg” extension Simply copy the text only between the dashed lines:
    (Note Alienware Motherboard is 0XDJ4C type in sample)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System\BIOS]

    "BiosMajorRelease"=dword:00000008

    "BiosMinorRelease"=dword:0000000f

    "ECFirmwareMajorRelease"=dword:000000ff

    "ECFirmwareMinorRelease"=dword:000000ff

    "BaseBoardManufacturer"="Alienware"

    "BaseBoardProduct"="0XDJ4C"

    "BaseBoardVersion"="A03"

    "BIOSReleaseDate"="04/27/2010"

    "BIOSVendor"="Alienware"

    "BIOSVersion"="A11"

    "SystemFamily"="0"

    "SystemManufacturer"="Alienware"

    "SystemProductName"="Area 51"

    "SystemSKU"="0"

    "SystemVersion"="00"


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Other related Links if uncertain of the above instructions:

    http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/3746/t/19645192

    http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/3746/t/19523732
     
    voyagermix and Cass-Olé like this.
  2. AlienwareAndy

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    There is a version of this that does not care what motherboard you use dude. I don't know the version number (I have it on a CD somewhere) but yeah, you don't need to go through all of that.
     
  3. AVictorD

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    Older versions of CC do install without the work around. The work around above is for those newer versions that have the install error depicted.
     
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  4. Cass-Olé

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    @AlienAndy > greetings brother & Cheers from across the Pond. I put a 'like' on your Alien Collection post back in December for a job well done. AVicD & I collaborated on this CmndCntr work-around post; those are my screen shots of my Asus 990Fx benefiting from CmndCntr 2.8.11. With this Reg-Guide I can move my A51 up to CC3.0 if I need to, should Windows10 ever become a problem. The Reg-Guide opens the door not just for 51R1, but for Aurora & 51R2 also. I've posted R2/R4 data below as a companion to Vic's R1 data.

    Why the Work-Around:
    We'll pretend an R2 owner wishes to swap a new motherboard in - but finds CC4.0 will not install on it due to the block - the Reg-Guide comes to the rescue, allows that owner to run CC4 on his new board. Therefore, there is no 'older version' for R2 owners to work with.

    We'll pretend Aurora R1/R2/R3 owners with a stock or aftrmrkt mthrbrd wish to run the latest CC3.5/3.6 - but can not due to the block - the Reg-Guide comes to the rescue also. It should be obvious why an Aurora owner will want to move away from an older version: the higher versions of CmndCntr all contain the latest Win8 & 8.1 MIO Filter Drivers which improve compatibility with W8 & hence should do the same with 10, as well as any other built-in fixes that up til now only the R4 could benefit from.

    The older CmndCntr sans block that you were referring to is 2.8.9; however, 2.8.11 - the one wth the block - has the W8 Filter Driver & is the last version best suited to 51R1's MIO AlienFx board since it runs perfect on W7 also. Your Gigabyte X79 UD3 mthrbrd? Now you can run 2.8.11 - & if it ever came to it? - CC3.0 as a last resort. Your observation: 'you don't need to go through all of that', I would hope you haven't discouraged anyone from doing the work-around - it only takes 2minutes to do - regardless it takes 5minutes to read through Vic's post.

    Find your Bios Key, Export it, Import the surrogate key, install CmndCntr (2.8.11/3.0/3.5/3.6/4.0) re-Import your saved Bios Key & restart, there is no 'all of that' in the end. The ability to run 2.8.9 on your aftermarket board was fine in days past, but time marches on & time has come for owners to move into higher versions of CC, the ones that've been locked away, until now. This is a monumental affair Andy; it isn't trivial, not by any means; it's a breakthrough on Vic's part that has greater implications for more than just the 51R1. I hope you'll move into 2.8.11 someday using this guide, see how easy it is & post back your results. Get with the Program. The higher versions contain fixes which is why you want to run on them & move away from the older versions.

    Data Sheet for 2.8.11:

    - Added support for Area 51/Area 51-ALX, Aurora, Aurora-R2, Aurora-R3, Aurora-ALX
    - Added dependency on .NET Framework 3.5 so AWCC install only if the core .NET 3.5 Framework is already installed.
    - We incorporated in the installer the Alienware MIO filter driver certified for Windows 8.

    AlienFX :
    - LFX_GetVersion function added to AlienFX API
    - AlienFX Controller shutdown process was improved
    ________________________________​
    Note: If you're doing a motherboard swap in Area-51 R1 & R2 - or - Aurora R4, then b4 you remove your old motherboard, use Vic's Reg-Guide to help capture your system's Bios.reg file for later use to by-pass any CmndCntr block you may experience on your new mthrbrd, that way you can use your own original file

    Note: for Area-51 R1, the last validated version of CmndCntr is 2.8.11; it is the preferred choice when using W7/8. I have personally installed CC3.0 (validated for Aurora & X-51), but it is glitchy (odd reportage of data) but it does 'work'. If your CmndCntr 2.8.11 fails under Windows 10, & you feel you have no alternative, you can 'try' CC3.0. (CC3.5 & CC3.6 will not work on your R1). Continue to use 2.8.11 while considering CC3.0 as a last resort against Windows 10. As .netframeworks & W10 updates both evolve, if 2.8.11 fails & then 3.0 fails to work under W10 then we're all done for

    Note: Aurora R1/R2/R3 owners
    Those owners experiencing a block can try to take advantage of the higher (R4) versions of CmndCntr 3.0/3.5/3.6. Note that CC4.0 is for Area-51 R2 use only.

    If you have a stock Aurora R1 with X58 I7 9xx CPU, your upgrade path stops at CC3.0, same as a stock A-51 R1 (if you incur a block while installing CC3.0, use this guide); due to the X58 I7 CPU, CC3.5/3.6 will not work on your R1 system. I do not have an Aurora R2 or R3, & cannot say with confidence whether 3.5/3.6 are useable on your stock system. U can try.

    While Vic's Guide could be useful on a stock Aurora R1-R3 to unlock higher CC versions, the Guide itself was created with 'motherboard swaps' in mind: stock systems are an afterthought. We do not own every Alienware system ever made, therefore, individual results may vary by make & model. If a higher CC version fails to be workable on your stock system (ie Aurora R1 on CC3.5), uninstall it & move down to the next lowest version.
    _______________________________
    2.8.11 >< 3.0 >< 3.5 >< 3.6
    ________________________________​


    Aurora R4 > copy the below text, paste into NotePad, name it R4Bios.reg, save it as a .reg file (aka All Files); once converted into .reg file, read Vic's Guide, & when ready, click on it to merge into your registry as a temporary surrogate R4 Bios key
    _______________________________​

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System\BIOS]

    "BiosMajorRelease"=dword:00000004

    "BiosMinorRelease"=dword:00000006

    "ECFirmwareMajorRelease"=dword:000000ff

    "ECFirmwareMinorRelease"=dword:000000ff

    "BaseBoardManufacturer"="Alienware"

    "BaseBoardProduct"="0FPV4P"

    "BaseBoardVersion"="A00"

    "BIOSReleaseDate"="11/26/2013"

    "BIOSVendor"="Alienware"

    "BIOSVersion"="A11"

    "SystemFamily"="0"

    "SystemManufacturer"="Alienware"

    "SystemProductName"="Aurora-R4"

    "SystemSKU"="Aurora-R4"

    "SystemVersion"="00"
    Area-51 R2 > copy the below text, paste into NotePad, name it R2Bios.reg, save it as a .reg file (aka All Files); once converted into .reg file, read Vic's Guide, & when ready, click on it to merge into your registry as a temporary surrogate R4 Bios key
    ______________________________​

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System\BIOS]

    "BiosMajorRelease"=dword:00000005

    "BiosMinorRelease"=dword:00000006

    "ECFirmwareMajorRelease"=dword:0000000e

    "ECFirmwareMinorRelease"=dword:00000007

    "BaseBoardManufacturer"="Alienware"

    "BaseBoardProduct"="0XJKKD"

    "BaseBoardVersion"="A00"

    "BIOSReleaseDate"="07/13/2015"

    "BIOSVendor"="Alienware"

    "BIOSVersion"="A03"

    "SystemFamily"=""

    "SystemManufacturer"="Alienware"

    "SystemProductName"="Alienware Area-51 R2"

    "SystemSKU"="064C"

    "SystemVersion"=""

    __________________________________​
     
    #4 Cass-Olé, Feb 25, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
  5. voyagermix

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    I tried to do that but when the installation of the command center ended the screen went out and I could not enter windows, I had to enter safe mode and delete all the records of the Command Center, will anyone have a solution?
    my MotherBoard is a Gigabyte GA-Z270XP-SLI, my video Card is a EVGA GTX960
     
  6. Cass-Olé

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    I haven't heard of your problem happening before. I'd install 2.8.9 1st, get a working CmndCntr as a baseline - then - go back & try 2.8.11 using Vic-D's reg-hack method. If no good, stick to 2.8.9
     
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  7. voyagermix

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    Thanks for Answering.. but i try to install in Area-51 R2 Case...
     
  8. Cass-Olé

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    what version? when you try CC4.0.x, do u get a block (platform not supported or similar)? And if so, is that why u tried the Bios/Reg work-around?
     
  9. Cass-Olé

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    do all of these versions have a block? Some people said their CmndCntr installed without issue on their aftermarket board in R2 with CC4.x

     
  10. Cass-Olé

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    After CmndCntr installs - but before I restart the PC - I import the original Bios Registry back in, then restart. VicD says you don't have to do that (the Registry reverts back to normal on the restart), but I patch my original back in before the reboot, did you try that? You save / export the original to your desktop 1st as a saved file, install CC, import the original back in, then restart
     
  11. voyagermix

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    with this:
    App_DT_AWCC4.0.59.0_W10_Setup_0N36D_ZPE
    I did not get a chance to restart the computer, the CmndCntr was finishing the installation when the screen went off, the last thing I saw was almost 90% of the installation bar fills (thousands of seconds after having taken that photo)
    WhatsApp Image 2017-03-13 at 12.17.16.jpeg
     
  12. Cass-Olé

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    try another CmndCntr version, do they all black screen? They shouldn't. Can you install it in SafeMode? (I've never had to). On AlienClub it says your lights are blinking? These are issues I haven't heard of. This latest z270 Chipset sounds like it doesn't like the CmndCntr. A last resort: put your old motherbrd back in, boot into your hard drive, install Cmnd Cntr, restart, shut down, place new motherboard back in ...
     
  13. voyagermix

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    with this version: App_DT_AWCC4.0.51.0_W81_W7_Setup_JD5K1_ZPE
    The installation is complete without problems, then I returned the original registry of my machine, then restart windows, but when entering again to Windows 10 there was no signal on the screen, again black screen ....
     
  14. Cass-Olé

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    Ok. If your installation went through, using VicD's method - it installed & asked for a restart - just restart mext time. I don't know why you boot into a black screen, or how to avoid it

    edit: normally, I create a system image - a clone - of my drive, using Acronis or Macrium Reflect. I make my changes to my cloned drive - when they're okay - then I impart those changes to my daily use drive. You should experiment on a cloned drive, so you don't cause any problems to your data and OS on your normal daily use drive
     
    #14 Cass-Olé, Mar 13, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  15. voyagermix

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    Is there a special cable that needs to be connected? The only thing I have disconnected is the DVD drive, when I connect the cable to run the SD drive and the USB turn off the lights of the case, And if I disconnect that cable, the lights come on bosster.jpg
     
  16. Cass-Olé

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    I'm just seeing your new post. In the hard drives section of the case, to the left, there is a small blue daughterboard called the FIO. It has a USB 2.0 cable, you connect that to one of your new motherboard's USB2.0 headers. Typically, the USB2.0 cable supplied in the R2 is short; that is because on the factory X99 motherboard, the USB2.0 header is located in the right / middle of the board, next to the USB3.0 header, so it might be too short to reach a motherboard that has 2.0 headers on the bottom sill. #1 your FIO board has to have its USB2.0 cable attached to your motherboard 2.0 header, and, #2 that might mean you have to purchase a longer 2.0 cable or an extension for the one already in it. I have some info in my post here as I use an 18 inch (7cm) longer front panel cable & 17inch (~7cm) usb2.0 cable. I recommend a 20inch 2.0 cable or a short extension for the one you have now, similar to what I linked you to. If your FIO 2.0 cable reaches your new motherboard and you have an issue with the lights not coming on, I don't know enough about it to help you recover your lights. If your motherboard has its USB drivers installed there should not be an issue. The lights should work even if Command Center isn't installed (they should turn on to whatever color they were, the last time you had your factory board in place). Does this help?
     
  17. LegitPunisher

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    anyone with the aurora r5 bios key??