Upgrade / Keep the Lights Working?

windygamer

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Joined
May 26, 2013
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10
I have an Area 51 from circa 2007 I guess. It has been great and I love the case, of course.
ss_00083.jpg

The HDs have been upgraded along the way to a nice SSD system disk and a couple of larger HDs.
The Graphics card has been upgraded and I have dual Dell 24" monitors which still work just great.

But soon it will be time to upgrade the insides to something more modern.
My plan is to wait until this fall and update with a Skylake Core i-7, water cooling and keep the same SSD and possibly upgrade the HDs to something newer. Probably a Western Digital Green 4TB.

At that time I'll go to Windows 10 of course.
I'm sure the original 1200 watt power supply will be fine for the new system.

So, the problem will be the lights.

At this point, the system is running Win 7 x64 - which was not available from Alienware [before DELL] when system was delivered [Remember that nonsense when you got 8GB, but it only supported 4GB on a 32bit system?]. The system is running on Win 7 Ultra x64 now. Never did find any light software for that system, so it's strange. Lights work the way they were last configured, but if I turn system off I have to reboot twice to get them going again.

So with a new Motherboard, New Processor, and new OS, does anybody have a light software solution?
Or, can we use a POWER ONLY usb connection to keep the lights going [ and avoid the reboot it twice to get the lights on?]. What are we doing these days to keep the lights on in our Area 51 cases as we upgrade?

Thanks,
wg
 
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Alienwulf

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Jan 20, 2014
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There are several threads that can help you. You can read my upgrade of my Area 51 here http://www.alienowners.com/index.php?threads/area-51-mother-board-question.4673/ and there is info on the web that will help. If you stay with your PSU you will have less problem. You can make a beast of a machine out of the old case as my Dual Mars 760's still beat (score wise) a Titan X at Fire Strike 7481 to 8885 on extreme. Good luck on your build.
 

windygamer

Member
Joined
May 26, 2013
Messages
10
There are several threads that can help you. You can read my upgrade of my Area 51 here http://www.alienowners.com/index.php?threads/area-51-mother-board-question.4673/ and there is info on the web that will help. If you stay with your PSU you will have less problem. You can make a beast of a machine out of the old case as my Dual Mars 760's still beat (score wise) a Titan X at Fire Strike 7481 to 8885 on extreme. Good luck on your build.

I guess this is a surprise. I have already replaced the MB in an Aurora keeping it's PSU and water cooling. Once I selected a MB of the right size - and it was a standard size, the only problem I had was that the backplate for the Alienware water cooling was bolted to the metal case rather than the MB. This meant that I had to unbolt the backplate from the case with the new MB since of course the CPUs weren't in exactly the right place. With no access to the back, I used double sticky tape - alas not Duck tape - to hold the backplate until the MB was in place and screwed down.

The Aurora PSU was standard so selecting the MB was no issue. I just chose an appropriate sized ASUS MB.

I presumed that the Area-51 would be the same sort of issues, but with no Water Cooling I assumed the only real issue was the lighting with Windows 10.

I'm not clear on whether any mods to case and wiring were required for your build, or just desired for your build. I don't plan on rewiring any FP1 connectors to do my build. I mean I love the Area-51 case and all, but if I can't drop a new MB into it with a new modular water cooling unit, say for example Corsair H80, and plug in the PSU and go, then I'll probably just scrap the case. It would be nice to have USB3 on the FP, but that's not really a requirement. It looks to me like the original PSU does have the CPU PS connector and connector for a graphics card. If they changed that standard, them I'll toss the PSU too. Sure hope the hole in the case for the PSU is standard.

So if that works out, then the only thing remaining is keeping the lights on and getting around this "boot it twice to get the lights to turn on" nonsense. Oh, btw, that's with Windows 10, which is the target for the new system.

Am I missing something fundamental with an Area-51 upgrade that I did not face with the Aurora??
- ww
 

Alienwulf

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Jan 20, 2014
Messages
238
First upgrade on the Area 51 I kept the PSU a 1000w and bought a Area 51 1200w on ebay was a simple swap out. Later I had cables made byCass-Ole for a Corsair ax-1200. Thats the only time you run into a harness problem is if switching from a stock to aftermarket PSU. Only other problem for lighting is there are not enough internal usb connections on the MB..I used this cheap works great http://www.amazon.com/NZXT-IU01-Int...1427571835&sr=8-5&keywords=usb+expansion+card
Lastly go to your driver download page for your unit on Dells support page and download either your Command Center driver or a older one. Never newer, your lighting board wants same on older driver. Hope this helps and good luck.
 

windygamer

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Joined
May 26, 2013
Messages
10
I never really found drivers that work for Windows 7x64 for my unit. There were always install problems with the "Command Center". I'm sure there won't be drivers for Win 10. Like I said, the lighting is still on, except that I have to boot twice for it to turn on after the computer has been off / unplugged. I'll watch for extra internal USB connectors for the MB I get.
Thanks,
ww
 

Cass-Olé

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Jan 9, 2013
Messages
248
Alienwulf, what is up brother? I see you opted for the 4790k (=
WG. I see you haven't posted in the Legacy dekstop section, you said circa-2007 & your Cpu-Z screenshot says socket 775. Can I assume you have a pre-Dell case? Because Wulf has been posting information here that sounds related to the Dell Area-51. If you have an A51 that looks like the photo maybe I can help. If it's a legacy-51 instead? There may be info in the legacy desktop section also, however I thought Wulf had a pair of legacy models. Awesome Red Area 51 Cosmic.jpg
 

Cass-Olé

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Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
248
When owners like yourself come into the Dell forum I paste the same info for them. Normally I direct them here to the legacy owners section, the only other info I have is limited:
You may know this, but the original owners of Alienware sold to Dell & a few started a new pc company called OriginPC. I believe I heard a long time ago if you go to their website or email/call them they can help with 'drivers & software', perhaps direct you to a good forum, maybe back to here, but look them up & maybe contact them since it's worth a shot, best of luck, that's the info I have, I know nothing about your lights, but if that is your Alien above or one like it I hope you can resurrect them soon & find what you need here in the way of help. Browse or perhaps post in the legacy section too. Now that AlienWulf knows your model he may have advice.

Believe it or not if you see one of these for sale on eBay or Craigslist etc. you can contact the owner & ask him to scare up as much info as he has regarding where support & software was found at, eventually you'll run across a die-hard owner willing to help a brother alien out.
 
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Cass-Olé

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Jan 9, 2013
Messages
248
WG, I don't have time to navigate this forum for you, but I took a fast peak at it finally & it is possible you might find help there. They have an Alienware aspect to their forum, perhaps in their 'support & troubleshooting' section for starters, & they have a search function to try "search: command center" etc.
http://niche.originpc.com/
example threads, taken from an x58 post on Dell's forum:
Area-51 x58 Wartime Edition - bought 09/2009 "Command Center" - Can not find anywhere.
http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/3746/t/19544641
http://niche.originpc.com/showthread.php?t=3883
http://niche.originpc.com/showthread.php?t=3410&highlight=command+center
one user said an AlienFx board marked as 'passive' needs no software while one marked 'active' does need it ... good luck, like I said.
 
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