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8 Krypton

My Aurora-R6 - The Adventure Continues

This new thread is a continuation of this old thread (that got locked during forum migration).

https://www.dell.com/community/Alienware-General/Aurora-R6-Hard-Lockup-and-crash-while-gaming-SOLVED...

The Aurora-R6 has not had a single crash in about 11 months now. Not really anything note-worthy in about 4 months either.

We usually just let it sleep and wake itself between productivity use, long gaming sessions, and scheduled daily Macrium Backups. It has a Local Account setup to auto-login on boot (yeah, I know, not real secure, but whateva). :Smile:

However, all that changed last-night.

It looks like it auto-installed some Windows Updates and rebooted itself to finish installing them. No biggie ... happens all the time. Now, I wasn't around to see this first hand but when my wife went to use it ... it said something about "Hope you enjoy your new version of Windows". It did not auto-login the usual Local Account. Looks like it stumbled a bit. Of course, she called Tech Support (me).

I found the machine mostly blank looking. All customizations and personalizations were missing. I asked her who she logged-in as and she wasn't sure ... no one really (she was kinda upset by the whole event). So, I just shut-down and rebooted (it's so quick on this machine). In about 20 seconds I was again looking at the usual/normal desktop. All the Updates in the History looked fairly small and minor. All fixed. :Smile: 

In fact, I wasn't even going to post about it until I saw this. Apparently, three of us Aurora-R6 users had a problem with Windows Updates last night.

https://www.dell.com/community/Alienware-Desktops/Thermal-Controller-error-startup/m-p/6063206#M3116

Looks like mine survived it the best. If you look back at the old thread for 5-17-2017, there is a potential for Command Center's Thermal-Controller to cause problems during updates. However, that was a big/major-update. It's never happened since, and I'm not sure it happened last night either, but something happened (too big of a coincidence).

I went-ahead and switched the Thermal-Controller to Manual-Startup (it's not like the UI has to be running for the settings to be in effect).

Here is some other related info:

- Currently running Windows-10 Pro v1709 (installed 11-3-2017)
- Set to update other Microsoft products with Windows
- Branch set to Semi-Annual Channel Targeted (consumer quick)
- Sign-In Options/Privacy/ use my sign-in to auto-finish updates
- BIOS is still on v1.0.5
- Command Center is still on v4.6.20
-   - Inactivity Timer: Never Go Inactive
-   - Keep Status Zones on during Go Dark
-   - Enable 3rd Party AlienFX Access
-   - Thermal Controller to Manual and then a reasonable Curve for each user-controllable fan 
-   - Thermal Controller each Fan linked to "CPU Sensor"
- In AlienFusion, Power-Profile is set to "High Performance"
- In AlienFusion "Always Ready Mode" is turned OFF
-   - Now you can right click on AlienFX icon in TaskTray, and set Inactivity Timer to Custom/Never go Inactive.
-   - The monitor, case lights, and (especially) FANS now stay ON while a benchmark or stress-test is running.

Remember these Alienware Command-Center tips:
(These tips have served me well, for like 8 years [for Aurora R1 and R6]).

- Never upgrade CC from inside itself (always clean-install a fresh version)
http://downloads.dell.com/published/pages/alienware-aurora-r6-desktop.html
- Always completely uninstall old version and REBOOT, before installing any version
- After downloading the installer, I always use Windows-Explorer to "UnBlock" the file before using it.
- Before installing, it would not hurt to disable your Anti-Virus (old tip but might still apply for some).
- Try disabling Window's Fast-Startup feature (for more reliable CC "state-detection"). If you boot from a SSD, you won't even notice a difference.
- If AW-CC is crashing (or displaying strange Dot-Net trace messages) at startup, try shutting-down machine, un-plugging from wall, and pressing the Power-Button a few times to dissipate all "flea-power" before restarting machine.

While the older Alienware desktops had actual (rather large) MIO-Boards:
https://dell.com/community/Alienware-General/Command-Center-2-7-25-0-Will-not-display-Temp-Readings/...
Now-days, the MIO-Board hardware is mostly virtualized in software. However, you can still run ePSA, and get some good data on at least the fans. From my notes:

----------------------------------------------
Someone from the forums wanted to know about Asetek Liquid-Cooler Testing
This should work for Aurora R5/R6/R7

F12 to run ePSA Diagnostics
First page tests take about 5 minutes.
After it finishes Testing, it should say everything Passes.
It will ask about running Extended Tests that take 4 hours
- If you don't expect Memory failure, you can skip RAM Tests
Click arrow button (bottom right) to go to second screen (detailed Test Results)
Notice all the components that tested good
System Health/ Fans / CPU-FAN is actually the impeller-RPM of Asetek Liquid Cooler pump
- Pump Impeller RPM is constant/fixed and should be between 5280-5350 RPM
TOP-FAN (radiator-fan): around 1160 RPM
FRONT-FAN: 450 RPM (PCIe slots & cool-air intake fan)
HARD-DRIVE: 26c
CPU Thermistor: 35c-54c
-----------------------------------------------

 


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
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2 Replies
8 Krypton

Re: Bye-Bye SupportASS-ist

Yeah ... I have Dell Update and Alienware Update (long since) uninstalled.

But for some reason, I started getting Windows Notifications from SupportAssist about new Dell Updates the other day.
- I do not want this because I like to do my own BIOS and file updates ... thank-you very much :Indifferent:

Then, I noticed in Windows Reliability Report:
It was Level-10 (perfect) for months prior to 5-2018.
About 30 days ago, started getting Daily red-error crashing (Background-Task Stopped Working) of various SupportAssist files. Took me down below Level-5 (poor).

Uninstalled:
Dell SupportAssist
Dell Product Registration
Alienware Customer Connect

For now, I left Installed:
Dell Digital Delivery
Dell Foundation Services

EDIT:
6-Month Update 

All is good here.
Other than nvidia.com drivers, everything I need seems to come from Windows Update.
If you want an actual BIOS update, just go get the next one from support.dell.com or ftp.dell.com .

I can also do without it's Diagnostics. I use Dell's ePSA (F12 on boot) instead, along with different Windows-based utilities (mostly CPUid stuff, Crystal disk-utils, and OCCT ).


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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8 Krypton

Re: My Aurora-R6 - Nvidia drivers in Fall-2018

Upgraded Nvidia GTX-1070 drivers to much newer (but not latest) Fall-2018 WHQL Nvidia drivers
(from Nvidia.com ) .

I'm not using GeForce Experience, as I don't want to end-up being a "Nvidia driver tester". IMO, they should call it "Nvidia Beta-Tester Experience" NBTE  :Smile: .
I just like to find a 100% working/stable video driver, and stick-with-it for a while (and not worry about it).
It's also well-known that older video cards often run better on slightly older drivers.

https://www.geforce.com/drivers/results/137727

Version: 399.24 - WHQL
Release Date: Mon Sep 10, 2018
Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit
Language: English (US)
File Size: 497.45 MB

Windows: Scale = 100% , 2560x1440 (Native) ... both "Recommended".
Nvidia Control Panel: Let 3D Apps Decide / PhysX = Auto (should auto-select GTX-1070)

Programs and Features: old NEW (current)
Nvidia Graphics Driver 391.25 399.24
Nvidia HD Audio Driver 1.3.36.6 1.3.37.4
Nvidia PhysX Driver 9.16.0318 9.17.0524

Installing Nvidia Graphics Driver v399.24 WHQL
(No GeForce Experience or 3D-Vision ... keep it lean)

Select Custom
Selected only Graphics Driver, HD Audio Driver, and PhysX Driver.
Select option for Clean Install
Rebooted computer when finished

Nvidia Control Panel says v399.24 is installed
- Left it set on "Let the 3D Applications Decide" for now (about as generic as you can get)
- Left PhysX Processor on Auto-Select (since it said Recommended). It correctly shows that "GTX-1070" is being used.
- Hide Tray-Icon and Context Menu options

Result:

After many weeks of long gaming-sessions (mostly WoW and Fallout-4) and lots of general use ... this driver is reveled to be 100% working/stable.
I say v399.24 should work fine on any GTX-10x0 card, in a Windows-10 64bit system.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
0 Kudos