Alienware Aurora R2 Lighting Repair

Back in March 2019 I completed modification of an Alienware Aurora R2 case for LED lighting that does not require OS drivers or support. Here is a link to that post from that time.

Recently this modification has developed an intermittent failure. The lights on the right side of the case aren’t working properly.

Here’s a video describing the problem and showing the fix.


Computer Failed Today

Back in October 2017 I built a new system with an AMD Ryzen 1800x CPU. The system has been great. With 8 cores and 16 threads and a nice Nvidia RTX 2060 Graphics card, it has been a real performer for gaming and video editing.

In January 2020, the power supply died and I replaced it with a similar model to avoid having to rewire the system power lines.

Today, I’d played FFXIV through the morning and just finished a 1/2 hour dungeon run – nothing special or stressful. And as I finished that and it suddenly stopped working. Just rebooted out of no where. No blue screen. Just a reboot. Boot loop. I tried to trigger a repair but looks like windows has removed “Safe Mode” boot. But after booting a couple of times, it displayed a message  that it was attempting to “repair and restart”, but it just kept rebooting.

I assumed at this point that the SSD was bad, or so worn out that it was causing the error. So I tried SpinRite, a HD diagnostic that I have which boots into DOS from a DVD. No go. That booted, but then just looped forever with the message “Discovering Systems Mass Storage Devices…”.

Continue reading “Computer Failed Today”

Linux to Windows File Sharing Issue

So, reaching a Windows File Share on Windows 10 from Linux Mint 19 has yet another problem. But there is a fix. My Post Here drew the attention of someone who had the answer.

The problem is that trying to reach a Windows 10 shared folder from a Linux Mint 19, or Ubuntu 20.04, system, causes an error:

“Failed to retrieve share list from server”

Here’s the workaround.

Samba woes SOLVED Linux Mint Forums.png
The Workaround

It’s pretty easy. And you can do two things.

  1. When it asks for “credentials” mark them “remember forever” and store them in your keyring, so you never have to worry again.
  2. And use “Bookmark” in the file browser to remember the share so you can easily go back there again the next time you need the Windows Share from Linux.

I was able to use the smb://win10-host-name.local/share-name fix.

The bug has been reported here, so we are probably going to get a fix soon.

Update: 30 April 2020

I tried file sharing to Windows from Fedora 32, the latest, and it failed in the same way, and was fixed in the same way. So all the Linux distros apparently share the same samba gvfs code.

May you walk in the light of the Crystal.

Alienware Aurora R2 Lighting Done

The lighting retrofit on the Alienware Aurora R2 is done. It was a nightmare. I’m not going to do a “How To” post. I’ll show pictures and describe the results. I am not suggesting that you do this, but if you want to, and you have a tremendous amount of courage and fortitude then have at it. You have been warned, or are about to be. I’ll show items I used to do this.

Continue reading “Alienware Aurora R2 Lighting Done”

Alienware Aurora Lighting Progress

Started to make progress on Aurora lighting. Here are the side lights.

Here are the front lights without the face.

The lighting is a USB powered LED RGB non-animated lighting chain. This is the usual type of LED lighting that is stuck on the back of a TV for ambient lighting. I’ll post more details as I finish. The Aurora case is a nightmare to take apart, especially the right panel.

More later.


LED Lighting for Alienware Case?

I’m sick of not having lighting for my Alienware Area-51 and Alienware Aurora cases. They work part of the time but can’t be easily controlled. The lighting is Proprietary and out of date. Alienware and later DELL made no effort to support the lighting with Windows 10 or Linux. These are what the two cases look like with lighting on:

That is the Area 51 circa 2006 with blue lighting in the vents and Alien Heads on sides and front. The Front Alien head is the power button.

And that’s the Alien Aurora R2 in Blue and Red lighting. The Front Alien Head opens the access door for the media drives. The power button is a hidden button behind the head on the top of the case.

Continue reading “LED Lighting for Alienware Case?”

Displayport Connector vs Case Issue

While upgrading the KVM switch to Displayport, there were some problems with cables. After sending a cable back that didn’t work, the replacement finally arrived. The new cable didn’t seat properly into the GTX 1050 Card in the Cooler Master NS200 case either.

After looking at a cable that worked – 6 ft- and then at the cable needed – 10 ft – the issue was discovered. The case has a bump next to the card interface that interferes with one of the cables and not the other. The 6 ft cable is slightly flatter where the bump is and so clears it to seat properly into the graphics card.

The top left pictures shows the CM NS200 case detail next to the graphics card. The Mini-ITX card does not allow another position for the graphics card. The top left picture shows a Displayport connector that works. The bottom left shows the before and after – the two ends – of the cable that does not work. The right connector has been shaved with an Exacto knife to allow it to fit past the bump and seat properly. The bottom right picture shows a detail of the modification of the cable.

Looks like not every one agrees on the clearance required for displayport cables. So beware if you rig doesn’t work as expected.


Fixing Cabela’s Moccasins

A long time ago I got some Cabela’s Moccasin Duck Boots. These are great for here in Coastal Oregon, where the grass never dries. And they should be easy to slip on and off at the door. But the problem is that they never were easy to put on and take off. The Tongue of the shoes was turned in rather than out.

As you can see from these pictures, I’ve figured out how to re-string the laces to correct this issue. On the left is the original shoe and the right picture shows one repaired shoe.

Continue reading “Fixing Cabela’s Moccasins”

Logging Your Public IP Address

I’ve recently had problems with my internet service. My DSL router is apparently re-syncing causing my public IP address to change. Apparently my ISP uses PPOE rather than DHCP, and apparently PPOE does not allow “Reservations”, which allows a client computer to use the same IP address if it reconnects within a given amount of time. Your home router uses DHCP, which does do reservations, so your computers LAN IP address does not change if the computer connects every 24 hours, which I understand is the default “Reservation” time.

Re-synching is not only a problem because the internet is out for a short amount of time, but also because the IP address change causes some games to require that you “Verify” your IP address by reporting a code that is sent to your email account. This is obviously an issue if the Re-Sync happens several times per day.

After quite a bit of research I found a windows service that logs the Public IP address to the Windows Event log every 15 minutes. I run one of my windows systems all the time, since it’s running Carbonite, so this system will run the PublicIpLogger program.

If you want to use the program, it’s on GitHub here. This is the forum post that mentions this program.

From Github, download the setup.exe file and run it. Then you can enter “view event log” into Cortana and you should see a choice to run the windows event viewer. The program logs your public IP address to the event log every 15 minutes.



As shown, under Application and Service Logs, find the PublicIpLogger events and there are a number of events that show the Public IP address, whether they have changed or not.




USB-3 Problem Solved

Cyberstorm in Slim case

In a previous post we talked about moving a server from a clunky old case to a new slimmer case. The only problem was the front panel only had USB-3 connectors, and the motherboard was created before the internal standard for motherboard USB-3 connectors appeared. This older motherboard only has external USB-3 connections on the backplate.

So here’s the fix.


This ORICO company makes many different USB-3 PCI-e cards.There are several manufacturers on Newegg, but these cards look like the highest quality. Their metal brackets are painted black, the PC boards are blue, rather than crap tan, and the connectors look like they are high quality. Continue reading “USB-3 Problem Solved”