Alienware Aurora R2 Upgrade

The Aurora R2 has been around here for quite some time. Finally it is time for an upgrade for one of my Alienware Cases. Here’s the Current System:

Upgrade Plan

Here are the parts for the upgrade. I’ll keep the current Nvidia RTX 2060 Graphics card.

Problems Along the Way

There were a few problems, some nonsense with Alienware Cases and some self inflicted.

The plastic case covers the back too, but that kept the screws from properly holding in the cooler. So I had to drill out the plastic without damaging the holes for the screws.

There was a raised punched hole in the back plate under where the Radiator was placed. The previous radiator was apparently smaller and did not interfere with this raised punched hole. But the new radiator would not seat properly so I had to drill out the hole and use a nibbler to remove metal so that the area was flat for the new radiator.

After assembly of the system, a fan was making noise and I thought it was the cooler fan. So I messed around with it for some time, evening using a Soldering Iron to modify the motor supports to try to eliminate the buzz. Then I discovered that the buzz was just the Graphics Card fans buzzing on some wires that were incorrectly placed. My bad. All good. I ordered a blue fan to replace the one I messed up and blue is more to my liking anyway.

First Power On

At this point the system is apparently working fine.

After starting the system it booted into a Linux Mint 20.2 Install stick. It failed to boot normally, but worked when compatibility mode was using.

Something odd with the WiFi adapter on the motherboard. I have Ziply Fiber with a wired speed of about 980 Mbps both ways. Using the WiFi the speed was quite strange. Very slow download speed and very fast upgrade speed. I’ll need to do some more testing

So about Five Hours into this project, the system appears to work. Tomorrow I’ll install Windows 10 on the SSD and begin to rebuild the software.


Update: All Disks Connected, and Windows 10 Installed / Activated

There are only 4 sata ports on this motherboard, so the small SSD will be used somewhere else. The new M.2 System SSD is 1TB and the old one was only 256GB, so no problem. 3 HDs and the DVD drive. There is an additional M.2 slot on the motherboard, but I’m sure this will be sufficient for the use of this system.

Windows 10 installation, from a thumbdrive already available, went without problems including support for all hardware.

Updated the OS to 20H2. And activate Windows 10 using the OEM key I bought with the parts on Newegg.

WiFi speeds are just fine now. Maybe some glitch with Linux Mint showed odd results.

Different Wifi speeds depending on the destination, so clearly the higher number is correct. Blazing fast WiFi speeds to my nice router.

Next is test DVD / Bluray drive and install and test software. New blue fan should arrive on Friday.

I’ve got Anydesk set up so I can use the system from my normal seat while I finish installation.

Upgrade of Hardware Complete

Done and all buttoned up. Just need to find time to update all the software.

“1” and “2” are shrouds that needed to be modified to clear cables and the graphics card to close up properly. All complete and the custom lighting is just fine.