Alienware M14xR2

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This wiki page documents the configuration and troubleshooting specific to the Alienware M14xR2 laptop.

See the Beginners' Guide for installation instructions.

System Specifications

The M14xR2 base model comes with the following options:

Base model

  • Intel® Core™ i5 or i7
  • 6GB or 8GB or 12GB or 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM
  • 1GB or 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 650M
  • 1366x768 or 1600x900 WLED TrueLife 14" screen
  • 750GB or 1000GB SATA drives and SSD until 500GB
  • SuperMulti 8x DVD±R/RW or Blu-ray double layer reader BD-ROM, DVD+RW, CD-RW
  • 8 cell Lithium-ion battery (63 W/h)
  • 1,3 megapixel webcap with 2 microphones
  • Optional 4.0 bluetooth
  • Wireless N capable

Ports

  • RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (2x)
  • Hi-Speed USB 2.0 with PowerShare technology
  • Mini display port
  • HDMI 1.4
  • VGA port
  • 9 in 1 card reader
  • Audio jack 1/8" (2x)
  • Input audio jack 1/8" (can be used for 5.1 audio output)
  • Security port

lspci output

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor DRAM Controller (rev 09)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v2/3rd Gen Core processor PCI Express Root Port (rev 09)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller (rev 09)
00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB xHCI Host Controller (rev 04)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1a.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #2 (rev 04)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev c4)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 3 (rev c4)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 4 (rev c4)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation HM77 Express Chipset LPC Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.2 RAID bus controller: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile SATA Controller [RAID mode] (rev 04)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller (rev 04)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GK107 [GeForce GT 650M] (rev ff)
01:00.1 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation GK107 HDMI Audio Controller (rev ff)
07:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR8151 v2.0 Gigabit Ethernet (rev c0)
08:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9462 Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)
09:00.0 Unassigned class [ff00]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTS5209 PCI Express Card Reader (rev 01)
09:00.1 SD Host controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTS5209 PCI Express Card Reader (rev 01)

Ethernet

The AR8132 Ethernet controller uses the atl1c module and works out-of-the-box with Linux kernel 3.x.

# lspci -kv
07:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR8151 v2.0 Gigabit Ethernet (rev c0)
	Subsystem: Dell Device 0552
	Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 48
	Memory at d2600000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256K]
	I/O ports at 2000 [size=128]
	Capabilities: <access denied>
	Kernel driver in use: atl1c
# modinfo atl1c
filename:       /lib/modules/3.7.9-2-ARCH/kernel/drivers/net/ethernet/atheros/atl1c/atl1c.ko.gz
version:        1.0.1.0-NAPI
license:        GPL
description:    Qualcom Atheros 100/1000M Ethernet Network Driver
author:         Qualcomm Atheros Inc., <nic-devel@qualcomm.com>
author:         Jie Yang
srcversion:     1A550ECB609B4B690B47528
alias:          pci:v00001969d00001083sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00001969d00001073sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00001969d00002062sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00001969d00002060sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00001969d00001062sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00001969d00001063sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
depends:        
intree:         Y
vermagic:       3.7.9-2-ARCH SMP preempt mod_unload modversions 
# dmesg | grep -i atl1c
[    6.052602] atl1c 0000:07:00.0: version 1.0.1.0-NAPI
[   17.706845] atl1c 0000:07:00.0: irq 48 for MSI/MSI-X

Wireless LAN & Bluetooth

Alienware M14xR2 comes with the AR9462 chipset which provides WLAN and Bluetooth capabilities.

# lspci -kv
08:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9462 Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)
	Subsystem: Bigfoot Networks, Inc. Device 2003
	Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx-
	Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
	Latency: 0, Cache Line Size: 64 bytes
	Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 18
	Region 0: Memory at d2500000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512K]
	Expansion ROM at 9fb00000 [disabled] [size=64K]
	Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 3
		Flags: PMEClk- DSI- D1+ D2- AuxCurrent=375mA PME(D0+,D1+,D2-,D3hot+,D3cold-)
		Status: D0 NoSoftRst- PME-Enable- DSel=0 DScale=0 PME-
	Capabilities: [50] MSI: Enable- Count=1/4 Maskable+ 64bit+
		Address: 0000000000000000  Data: 0000
		Masking: 00000000  Pending: 00000000
	Capabilities: [70] Express (v2) Endpoint, MSI 00
		DevCap:	MaxPayload 128 bytes, PhantFunc 0, Latency L0s unlimited, L1 <64us
			ExtTag- AttnBtn- AttnInd- PwrInd- RBE+ FLReset-
		DevCtl:	Report errors: Correctable- Non-Fatal- Fatal- Unsupported-
			RlxdOrd+ ExtTag- PhantFunc- AuxPwr- NoSnoop-
			MaxPayload 128 bytes, MaxReadReq 512 bytes
		DevSta:	CorrErr+ UncorrErr- FatalErr- UnsuppReq- AuxPwr- TransPend-
		LnkCap:	Port #0, Speed 2.5GT/s, Width x1, ASPM L0s L1, Latency L0 <4us, L1 <64us
			ClockPM- Surprise- LLActRep- BwNot-
		LnkCtl:	ASPM L0s L1 Enabled; RCB 64 bytes Disabled- Retrain- CommClk+
			ExtSynch- ClockPM- AutWidDis- BWInt- AutBWInt-
		LnkSta:	Speed 2.5GT/s, Width x1, TrErr- Train- SlotClk+ DLActive- BWMgmt- ABWMgmt-
		DevCap2: Completion Timeout: Not Supported, TimeoutDis+, LTR-, OBFF Not Supported
		DevCtl2: Completion Timeout: 50us to 50ms, TimeoutDis-, LTR-, OBFF Disabled
		LnkCtl2: Target Link Speed: 2.5GT/s, EnterCompliance- SpeedDis-
			 Transmit Margin: Normal Operating Range, EnterModifiedCompliance- ComplianceSOS-
			 Compliance De-emphasis: -6dB
		LnkSta2: Current De-emphasis Level: -6dB, EqualizationComplete-, EqualizationPhase1-
			 EqualizationPhase2-, EqualizationPhase3-, LinkEqualizationRequest-
	Capabilities: [100 v1] Advanced Error Reporting
		UESta:	DLP- SDES- TLP- FCP- CmpltTO- CmpltAbrt- UnxCmplt- RxOF- MalfTLP- ECRC- UnsupReq- ACSViol-
		UEMsk:	DLP- SDES- TLP- FCP- CmpltTO- CmpltAbrt- UnxCmplt- RxOF- MalfTLP- ECRC- UnsupReq- ACSViol-
		UESvrt:	DLP+ SDES+ TLP- FCP+ CmpltTO- CmpltAbrt- UnxCmplt- RxOF+ MalfTLP+ ECRC- UnsupReq- ACSViol-
		CESta:	RxErr+ BadTLP- BadDLLP+ Rollover- Timeout- NonFatalErr-
		CEMsk:	RxErr- BadTLP- BadDLLP- Rollover- Timeout- NonFatalErr+
		AERCap:	First Error Pointer: 00, GenCap- CGenEn- ChkCap- ChkEn-
	Capabilities: [140 v1] Virtual Channel
		Caps:	LPEVC=0 RefClk=100ns PATEntryBits=1
		Arb:	Fixed- WRR32- WRR64- WRR128-
		Ctrl:	ArbSelect=Fixed
		Status:	InProgress-
		VC0:	Caps:	PATOffset=00 MaxTimeSlots=1 RejSnoopTrans-
			Arb:	Fixed- WRR32- WRR64- WRR128- TWRR128- WRR256-
			Ctrl:	Enable+ ID=0 ArbSelect=Fixed TC/VC=ff
			Status:	NegoPending- InProgress-
	Capabilities: [160 v1] Device Serial Number 00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00
	Kernel driver in use: ath9k

Wireless LAN is working out of the box with the ath9k module:

# modinfo ath9k
filename:       /lib/modules/3.7.9-2-ARCH/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/ath/ath9k/ath9k.ko.gz
license:        Dual BSD/GPL
description:    Support for Atheros 802.11n wireless LAN cards.
author:         Atheros Communications
alias:          platform:qca955x_wmac
alias:          platform:ar934x_wmac
alias:          platform:ar933x_wmac
alias:          platform:ath9k
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd00000036sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd00000037sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd00000034sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd00000033sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd00000032sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd00000030sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd0000002Esv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd0000002Dsv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd0000002Csv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd0000002Bsv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd0000002Asv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd00000029sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd00000027sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd00000024sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd00000023sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
depends:        ath9k_hw,ath9k_common,mac80211,ath,cfg80211
intree:         Y
vermagic:       3.7.9-2-ARCH SMP preempt mod_unload modversions 
parm:           debug:Debugging mask (uint)
parm:           nohwcrypt:Disable hardware encryption (int)
parm:           blink:Enable LED blink on activity (int)
parm:           btcoex_enable:Enable wifi-BT coexistence (int)
parm:           enable_diversity:Enable Antenna diversity for AR9565 (int)

Bluetooth support is comming with kernel 3.8 as noted in this changelog. Our device is AR9462 (Foxconn / Hon Hai [0489:e04e]).

As 28 of March, using kernel 3.8.4, there's no bluetooth support. A bug should be filled.

Sound

This computer is using the CA0132 chipset. Alsa should work out of the box except for some bugs.

For those using 3.8 kernel note that card sometimes will do random noise that can be fixed by reloading the corresponding module saying that buffer position should be fixed:

rmmod snd_hda_intel
modprobe snd_hda_intel position_fix=1

If you loose sound after system wake you can recover it by rebooting into Windows and booting Linux again. I believe this has to do with a firmware problem. There's also no headphone detection.

In kernel 3.9 firmware problem seems to be fixed and headphone detection is working (If speakers don't automute go to alsamixer and unmute HP/Speaker Auto Detect). A lot of channels and fx were added to alsa.

Touchpad

TODO

Video

Since kernel 3.5 PRIME technology is officially supported by the nouveau graphic drivers. This means that Nvidia Optimus used in this computer is supported. Anyway you need to install bumblebee for letting vgaswitcheroo disable your graphics card.

In kernel 3.7 power managing methods were add so that battery life increased a lot.

AlienFX

AlienFX on Alienware M14xR2 is only supported by pyalienfx that can be installed from AUR.

You can visit pyalienfx project webpage for reporting issues.

Known Bugs

  • [Firmware Bug]: ACPI(PEGP) defines _DOD but not _DOS error appears on dmesg. More information on this bugzilla report.