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My experience upgrading an Area-51 R2 to 2020 specs

Cass-Olé

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
241
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*Spare Parts: Head to Dell/UK & click the blue contact box, then chat or call. Give your service tag, parts are available for everyone to buy
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*HDD/SSD Caddy: the X51 type u linked to might be the SSD caddy, but those should have a pair of holes so two drives can mount in it, I don't have a part#, try Dell direct (at least ask if they know the part# if it isnt in stock) & keep an eye out for one (goggle/eBay etc). Yes u can buy an adaptor so that a 2.5" SSD can fit in a 3.5" HDD caddy. My advice is to eventually find & buy the missing original SSD cage, use an adaptor sled in the meantime, & concentrate more on the faster NVME drive

*DVD: 9.5mm super slim SATA Model UJ8C7 | Blu-Ray should be model UJ267 --> either model should work, more info here Area-51 R4, Blue Ray upgrade or here google … also, the DVD cable 8FHRX u linked to is correct

*NVME: Samsung's are good, yes, I believe I'd get the 970 EVO if I was in the market (I'm using an older Samsung SM961 OEM type) but you're welcome to check online reviews for the best types to consider

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*FrontPanel: left is your board, right is original board, both are classic MSI 5x5, so it's plug and play, simply extend your original Panel1 cable (from FIO board 5x5 header to motherboard front panel 5x5 header), or get a longer front panel cable ~22"inches or longer

*POST CODES: "In the pictures, I have a 12 and 10 on the MSI board any ideas what the posts codes are I cant work it out." No idea, check your owner manual for post codes, google MSI post codes, or join / search on the MSI forum

*Rear PCI slot brackets: contact Dell, or keep an eye out on eBay (search term = Alienware PCI, Dell PCI etc (general search of 'Alienware' & filter results as price = low to high, then scour the listings, u might find used ones eventually)

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*FIO Board: (RED) is the Front Panel header (power on switch / HDD LED / POWER ON LED), it receives the Alienhead power on / off signal & relays it to the motherboard's front panel header. Re-use your 3DVC4 cable & extend it, or buy a longer one 22"inches +

The (GREY) USB2.0 (3RK0N), either use your original USB cable & extend it, or buy a longer 22"inch or longer basic USB cable. This will plug into your motherboard USB2.0 port & allow the FIO board to communicate, run AlienFX lights etc

(GREY) USB3.0 cable is part# 8293G & is for the external USB ports by the DVD slot. Find the 19/20pin USB3.0 header on motherboard & plug it in

The FIO board is USB2.0, the external ports are USB3.0

Debug is not relevant, it is for the factory workers use

*CABLES / EXTENSIONS: yes, you appear to have gotten the correct cables / items

1613178120234.png
Front panel header is circled red, use your cable or extension to connect to the matching (red) header at FIO board

Connect USB2.0 (grey) to the motherboard 2.0 header (grey) in photo above
 

Domiratus

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Messages
22
Hi Cass-Olé / eg1122 ,

So more good news.

I managed to find the SSD caddy for the alienware: ( Well I assume so , it will be here in several weeks >

1613264162209.png


https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dell-Ali...287246&hash=item5212d8abdf:g:lMwAAOSwTjFgFD9c

( Just incase you guys need one. )


Cass-Olé - Saw your post also here :

https://www.dell.com/community/Alie...ornikation-Area-51-R2-Kase-Build/td-p/5624404

it's high-time I got some use out of my new mthrbrd; way better than sitting in a styrofoam coffin. the R2 alienFx front i/o board (aka master i/o) has usb 3.0 external ports; my R1 mthrbrd doesn't have usb 3.0 so I've bought a 15mm / 6inch usb 3.0-to-2.0 adaptor to cure it:

3.0 to 2.0.jpg


Do I need this ? As have two USB header on the Alienware board :

1613264406503.png

Indicated in grey.

Please advise.

Also sorry about all these question. Any help would be appricated.

Best

Domiratus
 

Cass-Olé

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
241
I used a 2.0 -to- 3.0 adaptor because my board didn't have USB3.0, your MSI board is newer & has 3.0 support

Re-use your 3.0 cable or buy 8293G, plug it into FIO USB3FIO1 (large grey 19/20pin) & then plug other end into motherboard 3.0 header, it should reach (in rare instances an owner might need a 3.0 extension or simply buy a new right-angle 3.0 cable of suitable length which looks like the original but longer)

The FIO USB1 (small grey 9/10pin), re-use your 3RK0N USB2.0 cable & get it an extension & plug into a motherboard USB2.0 header, or simply buy a longer USB2.0 cable 22"-24" long
 

Domiratus

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Messages
22
Hi Cass-Olé ,

So I spoke with the computer guy and sent him over the cables, but he said I needed a female to female end for the "Front Panel Connector (-P LED, +P LED, +-HDD LED, RESET SW,POWER SW) cable " cable :

I looked around and they dont do this so instead my thought here is using the extenstion :


Motherboard ----> ( Female ) -------> (male ) ------- ( Alienwa ware cable OKYCKM ) - Female -----------> Female ( Alienware front IO Board ) .



Here it is :

1613480112414.png


Hopefully that will be okay.

Plase let me know ?


Also the MSI ( Which I bought New ) - didnt come with any cable for the IO out. I was told that this is usally on the case.


On to the next thing :

eg1122


I assume I will need a cable for USB1 and for USB3? I assume these are the USB on the front of panel ?


Yes. I think so.
 

Domiratus

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Messages
22
First time posting here. I just bought a r51 r2 for $250 and I'm thinking of getting a msi z490 board being reading and I will try to make a video of the process to make it easier for others.

Eg1122 Gracias! I bumped on some of your work and explanations and make things easy to understand.
Hi Chronox2 ,

Im doing the same thing. Have you got any video posted or anything let me know. I have the same motherboard as you. Small world . Also I may have spare cables and stuff . Let me know.

Best

Domiratus
 

eg1122

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
21
Hi Cass-Olé ,

So I spoke with the computer guy and sent him over the cables, but he said I needed a female to female end for the "Front Panel Connector (-P LED, +P LED, +-HDD LED, RESET SW,POWER SW) cable " cable :

I looked around and they dont do this so instead my thought here is using the extenstion :


Motherboard ----> ( Female ) -------> (male ) ------- ( Alienwa ware cable OKYCKM ) - Female -----------> Female ( Alienware front IO Board ) .



Here it is :

View attachment 3702


Hopefully that will be okay.

Plase let me know ?


Also the MSI ( Which I bought New ) - didnt come with any cable for the IO out. I was told that this is usally on the case.


On to the next thing :

eg1122


I assume I will need a cable for USB1 and for USB3? I assume these are the USB on the front of panel ?


Yes. I think so.
The usb 3 cable that comes with the pc/case reaches just fine. I'd you don't have one you will need to get one with a right angle. The usb2 cable would need an extension or a longer usb2 cable. I'm not sure why the guy building your pc needs a female to female io wire. Only reason I think he would need it is if the original in not present. If that is the case then yes you need the one you posted along with the extensions for it as it won't reach.
 

Domiratus

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Messages
22
Hi Eg1122,

Yes The IO Wire wasnt their so basically had to buy it.


Hopefully it work fingers across will have more update on Tuesday, when it arrives.

Also apart this forum is there like a Discord or any other fomrus which are good place for all of this ?

Best

Domiratus
The usb 3 cable that comes with the pc/case reaches just fine. I'd you don't have one you will need to get one with a right angle. The usb2 cable would need an extension or a longer usb2 cable. I'm not sure why the guy building your pc needs a female to female io wire. Only reason I think he would need it is if the original in not present. If that is the case then yes you need the one you posted along with the extensions for it as it won't reach.
 

eg1122

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
21
Hi Eg1122,

Yes The IO Wire wasnt their so basically had to buy it.


Hopefully it work fingers across will have more update on Tuesday, when it arrives.

Also apart this forum is there like a Discord or any other fomrus which are good place for all of this ?

Best

Domiratus
I posted in other forums but I only received feedback on here so would not recommend them.
 

Cass-Olé

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
241
@eg1122 I was typing while u posted, sorry

Part# for original USB1 cable is 3RK0N | USB3.0 is 8293G | (Front) Panel1 is 3DVC4

On page 2 post #39, you bought a 50Cm (20") basic USB cable female-to-female | 40Cm (16") USB extension | 30Cm (12") Front Panel extension + sleeved extension

The 50Cm USB cable should work -if it's long enough- if not, then use the extension you bought for it. Later, you can buy a longer (55Cm-60Cm etc) basic USB cable if 50Cm was too short

I don't know if the X51 front panel cable (KYCKM) is wired up / pinned out the same as 3DVC4, but if not, the PC builder should know how to back-out any pins & reinsert them into correct slots. Also, because it is 'short', use either of the front panel extensions you bought

H6HK9 a - Copy.jpg
The FIO board Front Panel pinout is above (rainbow header FIO_PWR1), it matches the MSI Front Panel header JFP1 = plug & play

***Front Panel cables & Substituting it for a USB cable

1) Note that USB header & Front Panel header pins are inverse, such that pins do or do not exist on position 9 & 10

1A) USB & Front Panel connectors are molded different, each connector-type has a plastic pin block either on pin 9 or pin 10. The pin block prevents the connector from inserting onto wrong header-type

2) Typically, when you motherboard swap in Area-51 R2-R7, you re-use 3DVC4 & buy it a (male prong) extension, or you buy a new Front Panel cable 50-60Cm (20"-24"), or buy a basic USB cable 50-60Cm & poke a hole (with a needle) through pin9 9which has a 'pin block'

3) USB cables are / can be substituted when a long 50-60Cm (20-24") front panel cable can't be sourced or found. Simply poke a hole through pin 9 of USB cable ('remove' pin-block at both ends) so it can fit over the front panel header
_______________________
***USB1 & USB3_FIO1

"I assume I will need a cable for USB1 and for USB3? I assume these are the USB on the front of panel?"

USB1 is for the rear FIO board > connect a *USB cable* from FIO USB1 header to a motherboard USB2.0 header so the FIO board can communicate w/motherboard

*USB Cable* either re-use the original 3RK0N USB1 cable & get an extension (male prongs etc), buy a 3RK0N cable & an extension, or buy a basic USB cable 50/55/60Cm (20" - 24")

USB3_FIO1 cable (8293G) is for the front external USB3.0 ports (next to audio-mic / DVD slot / 'Alienhead', front of case) > connect to FIO USB3_FIO1 header to the motherboard USB3.0 header > if 8293G is too short to reach, then get it a 19pin/20pin extension

*Notes about stated lengths of 50-60Cm / 20"-24"
Motherboards of all different kinds exist, the USB2.0, USB3.0 & Front Panel headers are found wherever they are found. A 50Cm / 20" cable may work on one motherboard but be too short for some other motherboard (due to topology of where headers exist, one board to the next)

55Cm / 22"inches is the recommended average length - it will either be enough or it won't - when in doubt, buy a 60Cm / 24" inch cable or longer


Try the AlienResurrection Discord
 
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Domiratus

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Messages
22
Hi Cass-Olé,

Thanks again for the high detail messages. I bought the 3DVC4 cable off ebay . ( 2weeks wait ) , argh such a struggle with this just want my PC.

I still haven't found out if the X51 front panel cable (KYCKM) is wired up the same or different . I just got a message from the PC builder. They are the wrong cable. I am waiting if he even has to got the extension and the X51 front cable together to try , or if he just tried the extenstion whic female to male ( which wouldnt work ) . But I will let you know.

Btw would anything bad happen if he used the X51 Front Panel Cable ( KYCKM ) ??????



As for the forum:

Try the AlienResurrection Discord

I cant seem to get on it , do you have the direct link . It says Invitaion Expired here.


Best

Domiratus


@eg1122 I was typing while u posted, sorry

Part# for original USB1 cable is 3RK0N | USB3.0 is 8293G | (Front) Panel1 is 3DVC4

On page 2 post #39, you bought a 50Cm (20") basic USB cable female-to-female | 40Cm (16") USB extension | 30Cm (12") Front Panel extension + sleeved extension

The 50Cm USB cable should work -if it's long enough- if not, then use the extension you bought for it. Later, you can buy a longer (55Cm-60Cm etc) basic USB cable if 50Cm was too short

I don't know if the X51 front panel cable (KYCKM) is wired up / pinned out the same as 3DVC4, but if not, the PC builder should know how to back-out any pins & reinsert them into correct slots. Also, because it is 'short', use either of the front panel extensions you bought

View attachment 3704
The FIO board Front Panel pinout is above (rainbow header FIO_PWR1), it matches the MSI Front Panel header JFP1 = plug & play

***Front Panel cables & Substituting it for a USB cable

1) Note that USB header & Front Panel header pins are inverse, such that pins do or do not exist on position 9 & 10

1A) USB & Front Panel connectors are molded different, each connector-type has a plastic pin block either on pin 9 or pin 10. The pin block prevents the connector from inserting onto wrong header-type

2) Typically, when you motherboard swap in Area-51 R2-R7, you re-use 3DVC4 & buy it a (male prong) extension, or you buy a new Front Panel cable 50-60Cm (20"-24"), or buy a basic USB cable 50-60Cm & poke a hole (with a needle) through pin9 9which has a 'pin block'

3) USB cables are / can be substituted when a long 50-60Cm (20-24") front panel cable can't be sourced or found. Simply poke a hole through pin 9 of USB cable ('remove' pin-block at both ends) so it can fit over the front panel header
_______________________
***USB1 & USB3_FIO1

"I assume I will need a cable for USB1 and for USB3? I assume these are the USB on the front of panel?"

USB1 is for the rear FIO board > connect a *USB cable* from FIO USB1 header to a motherboard USB2.0 header so the FIO board can communicate w/motherboard

*USB Cable* either re-use the original 3RK0N USB1 cable & get an extension (male prongs etc), buy a 3RK0N cable & an extension, or buy a basic USB cable 50/55/60Cm (20" - 24")

USB3_FIO1 cable (8293G) is for the front external USB3.0 ports (next to audio-mic / DVD slot / 'Alienhead', front of case) > connect to FIO USB3_FIO1 header to the motherboard USB3.0 header > if 8293G is too short to reach, then get it a 19pin/20pin extension

*Notes about stated lengths of 50-60Cm / 20"-24"
Motherboards of all different kinds exist, the USB2.0, USB3.0 & Front Panel headers are found wherever they are found. A 50Cm / 20" cable may work on one motherboard but be too short for some other motherboard (due to topology of where headers exist, one board to the next)

55Cm / 22"inches is the recommended average length - it will either be enough or it won't - when in doubt, buy a 60Cm / 24" inch cable or longer


Try the AlienResurrection Discord
Hi C
 

Cass-Olé

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
241
Capture - Copy.JPG
KYCKM cable will probably work out, if u get it an extension of suitable length. Looking at it, if we call the pin-block = pin10, it'll fit over the front panel header, & from there, pins 1-3-5-7 all look ok left vs right, 2-4-6-8 all look ok left vs right, looks like a basic front panel cable, it'll be ok

Alien Resurrection Discord | Alienware Discord
 
Last edited:

Domiratus

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Messages
22
Hi Cass-Olé,

Thank you for messaging that. I will pass it on to the PC Builders.

I was also gonna ask your opinion on this , I thinking to buy up another case and use it for parts :

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Alienwar...rentrq:d66522571770ad4b3dc8f19affcb0b60|iid:1

1614209902935.png
It has all the parts I need , I.e all cables and has caddy and Blue ray player. Extra Fan.

I could buy gut and always resell the case after ?

What are your thoughts ?

Or potnetially even make a second setup.....


Best

Domiratus
 

Cass-Olé

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
241
Sure, you could grab spare parts off of it & resell it for a little less than you paid, depending if buyer is ok with whatever you grabbed relative to the price you ask. The list price is good enough to start another build with as well, knowing the closer to 150 u can get it for, the better, depends on your budget, space, plans etc
 
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