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Area 51 vs Area 51 ALX - Motorized Door, Motherboard Differences?

I recently had my Area 51 ALX motherboard replaced (still under warranty). I noticed that it looks slightly different than my old one. The old board had green slots and no Alienhead/Glyphs, whereas the replacement does. I also noticed my BIOS POST screen no longer says Area 51 ALX, just Area 51. Are the boards different at all? They don't seem to be, other than that.

Also, were the non ALX Area 51's grey, or were they black as well? As far as I can tell, the ALX was black, anodized aluminum, and had a motorized CD drive door.

The reason I'm wondering is Dell seems to think mine isn't an ALX, and that might explain the board swap. My motorized door doesn't work, so I had them swap it as well, but it still doesn't work. I don't know where the motor or anything would be, but it seems to have the mechanisms and cables for it. Dell swore that none of them are motorized and mine isn't an ALX (pretty sure he had no idea).

Any ideas on how to get this door working?

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18 Replies
morblore
5 Rhenium

Re: Area 51 vs Area 51 ALX - Motorized Door, Motherboard Differences?

You have the newer board. Your old board was the verson 1 and the one they replaced it with is the version 2. Only thing changed is the color and Alienware branding. Both boards are used on both ALX and non-ALX systems.


The green board you had was the exact same board that Dell used on the XPS 730x. They sold all Area 51's with that board for about a year before going with the Alienware branded board.

If yours is black and anodized then it's the ALX and should have the motorized door. All ALX have the motorized door.

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Area-51 Cosmic Black/Windows 8 64-bit Pro/BIOS A11
Intel Core i7-980x Extreme Edition @ 4.0 ghz/Intel 160gb X-25M SSD Raid-0
6GB Corsair Dominator GT 1866 DDR3/PNY GeForce GTX 680 SLI/ATI TV Wonder

 

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Re: Area 51 vs Area 51 ALX - Motorized Door, Motherboard Differences?

That's what I figured. Why wouldn't it work? The whole front panel was replaced and still, nothing. The power to the USB is turned on in the BIOS (forgot the exact setting). I rarely use the drives so it's not huge but I'd still like it to work. Smiley Very Happy

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morblore
5 Rhenium

Re: Area 51 vs Area 51 ALX - Motorized Door, Motherboard Differences?

I don't know why it is not working. Plus the service tag for the system should tell Dell it is an ALX system. If they say it's not then I don't really know why.

The motor connects to the MIO board. If it has the motor and the right bezel and MIO then it should work.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Area-51 Cosmic Black/Windows 8 64-bit Pro/BIOS A11
Intel Core i7-980x Extreme Edition @ 4.0 ghz/Intel 160gb X-25M SSD Raid-0
6GB Corsair Dominator GT 1866 DDR3/PNY GeForce GTX 680 SLI/ATI TV Wonder

 

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morblore
5 Rhenium

Re: Area 51 vs Area 51 ALX - Motorized Door, Motherboard Differences?

Post some pictures of the inside of the doors. I can tell you then. The none ALX is painted. Sounds like from what you are saying is Dell says it is not ALX so they would not use an ALX door so replacing it would mean nothing. It needs the correct door. You can try sending Dell Chris_M your service tag so he can look into it for you.

You should have the paper work that came with the system. It will also say if it's ALX or not.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Area-51 Cosmic Black/Windows 8 64-bit Pro/BIOS A11
Intel Core i7-980x Extreme Edition @ 4.0 ghz/Intel 160gb X-25M SSD Raid-0
6GB Corsair Dominator GT 1866 DDR3/PNY GeForce GTX 680 SLI/ATI TV Wonder

 

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Re: Area 51 vs Area 51 ALX - Motorized Door, Motherboard Differences?

2843.WP_000217.jpg

I would say it is definitely an ALX. Were the regular ones even black? I've never even seen a grey one though...

1055.WP_000214.jpg

The front (the floor is terrible, just moved here...this thing looks really out of place in this room, lol)

Normally, you just press the alienhead and it goes down, and then up, right? Mine just sort of falls down...I'm going to double check the MIO board connections. I'm pretty sure when I looked awhile ago, it was plugged in and had one labeled DOOR or something. I trust the tech that worked on it, I've dealt with him on a lot of stuff. Neither of us could figure it out.

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morblore
5 Rhenium

Re: Area 51 vs Area 51 ALX - Motorized Door, Motherboard Differences?

The non ALX came in black too. Open your door and look at the corner. If it's not ALX you can see where they spray painted it.


Look at this picture and you can see what I mean.

1362.IMAG0221.jpg

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Area-51 Cosmic Black/Windows 8 64-bit Pro/BIOS A11
Intel Core i7-980x Extreme Edition @ 4.0 ghz/Intel 160gb X-25M SSD Raid-0
6GB Corsair Dominator GT 1866 DDR3/PNY GeForce GTX 680 SLI/ATI TV Wonder

 

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Re: Area 51 vs Area 51 ALX - Motorized Door, Motherboard Differences?

Yeah, no spray paint. I looked at the connections and doorsw_l and doorsw_r are plugged in right..

I think they did give me the right front bezel. (forgot to mention the person in mentioning from Dell is not who put in the order, but the person who followed up with me)

Also looks like the door is getting power, as the comp is off but the alienhead is lit up. Hmmm...

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Re: Area 51 vs Area 51 ALX - Motorized Door, Motherboard Differences?

ODD_SW1 is plugged in as well. Weird. Maybe the MIO is bad? Everything else is fine...

Is there any diagrams for these Mio cards?

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Re: Area 51 vs Area 51 ALX - Motorized Door, Motherboard Differences?

Haha, okay, so I ran a diagnostics tool I had on a USB stick from AW, and it says the ODD is listed as not installed...but it also lists it as being an aurora...ummm? I'll upload the pics in the morning. Its really weird...
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