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Aurora ALX (mid 2010) - PSU Replacement - Issue With HD Cages

Hi

Currently replacing the stock PSU - it's the original 825W - with a new one.

It's not been too bad but I'm now stuck.  Everything unplugged except the 4 HD bays (I think - there's still a jumble of cables but pretty sure that's all that is left).

For non-ALX users the HD power replacement would be the easiest part of the job however in all their wisdom for the ALX they have put in, not sure of correct terminology, built-in power/sata connectors at the rear end of each of the four HD bays.

In fairness this appears to be a good idea - makes removing the HD a doddle, just pop it out using the spring pop out bays in both versions of the case and if you need to unscrew the HD from the bays.

So this means the HDs are loaded the opposite way to whichever version of the Aurora case you have (ALX / non-ALX).

This also means the power / sata ports are plugged in at the right hand side of the case (front facing) or as I now like to call it, the dark side which if anyone of you have actually bothered to remove the right side of the case will have realised it's pretty much a blank sheet of metal at that end, no handy swing compartments to get your hand/tools in etc.

I thought right, a bit annoying but i'll just have to remove each individual HD cage (housing 2 HDs / bays).  However upon further inspection (and only after having unscrewed 6 what appear to be useless screws) there are 2 rivets where the last 2 screws should have been.  There is also two metal catches at the other end attaching the bays to metal separating the PSU / HD enclosures from the rest of the PC.  After briefly considering just ripping them out I realised I would be left with nothing to gently caress my HDs and they need some love too right?

The space involved is far too small/awkward for even small womanly hands like my own and pliers won't work because there are too many angles (if there is such a thing as right angled pliers this might work but would pretty much have to be custom made given the precise angle it would have to go in at!).

Pics attached - first one old, just to show model before I took it apart.

Any suggestions to navigate this madness would be gratefully received.

Sam.

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Solutions (2)

Accepted Solutions
5 Tungsten

image - Copy.jpg

here are two of your photos, the problem at hand

R4 ALX shouldn't be a problem

3051.PTDC0018.JPG

1st, you can remove the mid-sill, later, reinstall it.

8764.image.jpg

womanly hands? man up! remove the screws man!

5611.PTDC0001.JPG

get the longest Philips skrewdriver ever made or make one: 1/4 inch bit & socket, with a fat flatblade skrewdriver to turn the extension; magnetic tips are best (for replacement)

image1.jpg

forget about the rivets: remove the wall & floor skrews, & slide the cage out. the rivets only secure stud-bosses, slide the cage out, see for yourself. do not remove the rivets ... no

View solution in original post

Community Accepted Solution

for those of you doing a psu swap in Aurora

8688.PTDC0001.JPG

the only sata connex that work are called 'pass-through' types, like the originals use & on some aftermarket cable types; my upper cable's wearing two different kinds; note the pass-thru will be ok, note the standard end-type is too long (the cage would not go back in were I to use that type); you can not use that connexion-type either, only pass-throughs; hopefully your new sata cables are ok, if not, corrrrrrect that. like a man would. buy pass-throughs if you need them & mod your cables accordingly (note the original sata uses a 'pass-thru' cap & an 'end' cap); I post this here for everyone, so that wrong sata head-types don't monkey-up your swap. 

ele-135_4.jpg

- when ordering, specify end vs pass-thru caps -

original sata cables use both cap types; pass-thrus allow continuation of the wires toward a new head, while end caps 'seal' / insulate the wires on the very end of a terminating connector

- how to 'mod' a sata cable to replicate the originals -

3007.PTDC0001.JPG

for example, in the 1st photo of a 'wrong' sata cable-type, I would buy a new pass-thru head(with an 'end cap'), I would size the cable so the spacing replicated the original:

  • the spacing between heads in the original sata cable is 2inches
  • in my example, I have a correct pass-thru (left), so I would measure 2 inches up & snip the wires a) to snip off the 'wrong' head & b) to get the correct spacing
  • last, I apply my new pass-thru + end cap
  • sizing the wire / cable up for correct spacing is easily done when cage is removed, either by test-fits -&/or - a simple side-by-side comparison with original sata cable

- CPU / EPS 8pin ~8" Extensions -

3465.s-l400.jpg

original cpu 8pin is 32" > most aftermarket 8pins are 24"/26"/28" > buy extension if needed

- the tips / information posted here is meant for all viewers -

View solution in original post

Community Accepted Solution
Replies (9)
5 Tungsten

image - Copy.jpg

here are two of your photos, the problem at hand

R4 ALX shouldn't be a problem

3051.PTDC0018.JPG

1st, you can remove the mid-sill, later, reinstall it.

8764.image.jpg

womanly hands? man up! remove the screws man!

5611.PTDC0001.JPG

get the longest Philips skrewdriver ever made or make one: 1/4 inch bit & socket, with a fat flatblade skrewdriver to turn the extension; magnetic tips are best (for replacement)

image1.jpg

forget about the rivets: remove the wall & floor skrews, & slide the cage out. the rivets only secure stud-bosses, slide the cage out, see for yourself. do not remove the rivets ... no

View solution in original post

Community Accepted Solution

for those of you doing a psu swap in Aurora

8688.PTDC0001.JPG

the only sata connex that work are called 'pass-through' types, like the originals use & on some aftermarket cable types; my upper cable's wearing two different kinds; note the pass-thru will be ok, note the standard end-type is too long (the cage would not go back in were I to use that type); you can not use that connexion-type either, only pass-throughs; hopefully your new sata cables are ok, if not, corrrrrrect that. like a man would. buy pass-throughs if you need them & mod your cables accordingly (note the original sata uses a 'pass-thru' cap & an 'end' cap); I post this here for everyone, so that wrong sata head-types don't monkey-up your swap. 

ele-135_4.jpg

- when ordering, specify end vs pass-thru caps -

original sata cables use both cap types; pass-thrus allow continuation of the wires toward a new head, while end caps 'seal' / insulate the wires on the very end of a terminating connector

- how to 'mod' a sata cable to replicate the originals -

3007.PTDC0001.JPG

for example, in the 1st photo of a 'wrong' sata cable-type, I would buy a new pass-thru head(with an 'end cap'), I would size the cable so the spacing replicated the original:

  • the spacing between heads in the original sata cable is 2inches
  • in my example, I have a correct pass-thru (left), so I would measure 2 inches up & snip the wires a) to snip off the 'wrong' head & b) to get the correct spacing
  • last, I apply my new pass-thru + end cap
  • sizing the wire / cable up for correct spacing is easily done when cage is removed, either by test-fits -&/or - a simple side-by-side comparison with original sata cable

- CPU / EPS 8pin ~8" Extensions -

3465.s-l400.jpg

original cpu 8pin is 32" > most aftermarket 8pins are 24"/26"/28" > buy extension if needed

- the tips / information posted here is meant for all viewers -

View solution in original post

Community Accepted Solution

Dude I cannot begin to thank you for this, your answer is so comprehensive and on point.  On reflection so annoyed I didn't think about removing the side partition - I thought it was perma fixed.  Was going to go ahead and press on and post a completed pic but my brother is going to have to get me the longest screwdriver as mine falls a bit short, close but no cigar.

Thanks for the point on the SATA cables, will look into that, my new PSU is an EVGA P2 750W (I checked this against two wattage clocks and I'm still a bit nervous however I only run one old GTX 690 so I'm sure I have enough gas with 750W).

Actually just went ahead and checked - cable appears to be a pass through but I'm going to triple check against your post.

Once again thank you very much for your reply on this.

it isn't unusual for an online review of a psu to include small photos of the provided cables; this is what I found re: EVGA P2 750:

9b-750-Mod-cables.jpg

it probably has 'standard' sata heads

in my travails with AR4 ALX, standard sata heads prevented reinstall of the cages; since it is doubtful you have the right pass-thru heads, go ahead & test-fit (try) your sata cables to confirm they work or not. Plug them in > try to attach cage to wall. If the EVGA cables prevent cage install? I will post info here for you - & others - that stumble on this post looking to do their own swap.

- rebuild a typical sata cable to work in Aurora -

2783.PTDC0003 - Copy.JPG

I realize you probably have sleeved round cables; the material I can photo is ribbon-type, but that hardly matters. what we're interested in is a typical daisy-chain of standard sata heads:

  • pretend we're looking at your sleeved cable for the moment
  • chances are yours has 2 or 3 heads (not 4)
  • the heatshrink will stop approx. 2inches from the 1st sata-head  

You have several options > 1st, decide which sata head to cut-off (& where) using scissors:

3463.PTDC0004.JPG

example > cut off head #1:

  • if there's 2inches of wire available / showing between heatshrink & sata head #1?
  • u can cut-off #1 (& thus remove all downstream heads from cable)
  • now apply a new pair of pass-thru heads, with 2inches of spacing between them
  • you would need a pass-thru 'cap' & an end cap

example > keep head #1 / cut-off head #2:

  • chances are, there is 2inches of wire (or more) between heads 1 & 2
  • chances are, your far right sata hdd cage needs a longer sata cable to reach
  • if example #1 works for the left cage - you may need to keep a head (or two) on your next cable - so it reaches the far right drives (those reqwire a longer cable, obviously) 
  • regardless, snip off head #2 at a judicious locale & apply new pass-thru heads, with 2" of spacing between them

example: keep head #1 & #2 > snip head 3 (or head 4):

  • this is now redundant > the photo & tips should be self-explanatory

0310.Serial-ata-connector.gif

note the words: power segment pin1 (top middle) & pin1 (top right)

sata connex are 'keyed':

  • there is a notch on your hard drive (& dvd player) sata port
  • there is a corresponding notch in the sata cable head connector
  • the notch represents 3.3volts (see Pin1 area for 'notch')
  • the wiring assignments are shown, both in the photo & using your original cables
  • a guide like this may be necessary when working with all black wiring

when placing new sata pass-thru heads onto your cables - do NOT get your wires mixed up

I will only say that once > you've been warned


So! What can be done today if your sata cables don't allow reinstall of the hard drive cages?

Chances are you want your psu to go in, & have some semblance of order in your pc & in your home. Also possible if you 'buy' the right sata pass-thru heads, it'll be several days b4 they get there, perhaps Monday. If you have to wait for sata modding parts, I would do this:

  • if you have a spare sata DATA cable > toss a hard drive into your blank DVD bay tray
  • use the sata POWER cable you will route up to the dvd area
  • wait it out til your parts arrive

If you don't have a spare sata DATA cable, I would try to place power to the cage using the cables they gave you, & let the cage stay 'loose' down in there & run the pc with the door panel removed if need be, until parts arrive. Another option, do not reinstall middle-sill yet, just let cage be loose in the floor area > man up & think up a plan til your modding parts arrive.

Final Warning: not all pouched psu cables are interchangeable

Pretend in a year from now you wish to try a 1000w+ EVGA? maybe 1000w+ Corsair? Do not assume the cables you are now using will be compatible; they certainly will not be compatible with a non-EVGA chassis - & - consult with EVGA 1st in order to confirm which exact models the 750P2 cables can 'share' cables with. The easiest way to check, is when EVGA sells sleeved cable kits, they will list all models in which a particular kit will work with:

  • if 750 P2 & 1000 G2 can share a sleeved cable kit, then you can be sure your cables there now that came in your pouch are approved for use with a 1000 G2 & vice-versa, huh?
  • otherwise, consult your manufacturer
  • next go around, you may simply want to keep your case wired the way it is & easily slide a new chassis in there; if so, ensure the cables can interchange 1st
  • to not confirm that is to invite a possible disaster

 

Hi

Sorry for the delayed reply, took me ages to find a suitable size screwdriver for those last two screws.

One problem solved but you are absolutely spot on re sata heads not allowing reinstallation of HD cage.  I was going to simply switch the heads on the EVGA P2 cable with the ones from my old PSU however I failed opening the old sata heads.  They are not the same ones as in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi7rWKDBIHA, and although the stock psu sata heads appear to have two levers at each end I couldn't get the head to open, in fact I ended up ripping both of these off by accident through too much force and still nothing budging.

I then went to look online for new ones or a new cable but I can't seem to find non-standard heads (or indeed a whole new pass through cable that I was happy had thinner heads AND was compatible with my modular PSU manufacturer's standard wiring) so probably going to finish rewiring everything in and just have the cage hang loose until I find a solution, it should sit steady-ish and the door panel should still close.  I have removed the HD cage nearest the PSU, it was empty and I don't plan to have more than 2 HDs in this build so its wholly unnecessary.  Will post a pic / progress when I get this done possibly later on today but definitely this week.

That's a good video for this project.

I'm going to give links to purchasable Sata pass through / 'punch down' connectors, which use rigid block type caps. The original 'caps' on Aurora & Area-51 are a pain, since they have 'numerous' flimsy claws which like to break:

7633.Capture.JPG

clawz vs caps


Your best bet is to buy a new Aurora harness since they're cheap - or - replace / repair sata connex on it which can't be reused. The part tag is on the harness, but NRHJ9 tends to be for ALX:

FrozenCpu/PerfPCS/MainFrame/Koolertek:

Since the wires are black, it is sometimes easier to place a new head on the cable before removing an old head, so that you can be certain the new head is oriented correctly (using the 3.3v notch-key as a landmark from old-to-new). Report back, if u need more info: ask 

I checked eBay; EVGA sata cables all tend to have a standard daisy chain. Do what u have to til parts arrive; I can tell you're on the right track, keep it up & good luck.

Hi

Finally got round to installing the PSU.  Ended up connecting old connectors to new SATA cable through some terminal blocks.

However once i got everything in and turned the computer on I got a CPU fan fail message.  Thought this might just be BIOS resetting its controls given that the liquid cooling means it does not use the CPU FAN connection (or the TEMP SENSOR right next to it).  So I pressed F1 and computer loaded but super slow, got scared and turned off to find my CPU roasting hot.  Can't hear the fan working so fairly sure the liquid cooler is not working.

For the avoidance of doubt I did not connect the peripherals cable with the little CPU fan connector as you normally would in non-liquid cooled systems.

Don't suppose anyone's come across this and know what to do?

Am tempted to get a new liquid cooling system anyways but cash is tight and who is to say I won't still get the error message.  Must be something I've not plugged in.

IMG_0282.jpg

*FIXED*

I forgot to put power into the master IO board.  Doh....

Also I moved side panel wire (thats overlapping the divider) as that was preventing the shrouds from clicking into place.

I may post here again as I'm thinking of replacing the liquid cooling system.  Will post a new thread if I do.

Cass-Ole again many many thanks, you're a legend. :)

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