Digtial Personal Workstation 433au Rebuild

Hi am trying to bring back a Digital Personal Workstation 433au to its glory

This thing is a tank and is based on a Alpha 21164 at 433MHz
This model runs Windows NT4.0 whilst the 533au runs both Windows NT4 and Digital UNIX / Tru64 UNIX

So far had to replace current Hard Disk due to it’s age, everything else so far seems ok.

I put a new hard drive in, which was a challenge based on it’s Digital Design aesthetics, and am now trying to install Windows NT 4.0 Workstation.

Now the fun begins as it is not a normal Install.

  1. Use CMOS Setup to set the system date and time: start AlphaBIOS Setup, select CMOS Setup, and press [Enter].
  2. Perform an express hard-disk setup: return to the main AlphaBIOS Setup screen, select Hard Disk Setup, and press [Enter].
  3. Put the Windows NT CD into the CD-ROM drive.
  4. Start AlphaBIOS Setup, select Install Windows NT, and press [Enter].

Windows does not recognize the machine

  1. When asked to select your system name, choose Other, and press Enter. When prompted for a hardware support diskette, put the Digital Personal WorkStation Alpha HAL kit floppy in your a: drive, and press Enter. Select “Digital Personal WorkStation 433a, 500a” and press Enter.

I have found this disk image on Archive.org and am creating a new floppy to use.
That’s the next step…



Welcome back…
lets hopefully finish the NT Setup
Ok last time I selected “Digital Personal WorkStation 433a, 500a” and pressed Enter.

When Setup displays a message saying that it could not determine the type of one or more mass storage devices installed in your system, press S to install the driver for the on-board IDE controller.

This is when you need the exact disk called the ‘HAL’ (Hardware Abstraction Layer) created on a floppy. Put the floppy in to A: Drive
If you use the wrong disk you need to end up starting again as you get a lovely Blue Screen
Oh Well, live and learn
if we put the right HAL in floppy A you will get this

When prompted for a hardware support disk, press Enter
Select IDE CD-ROM (ATAPI 1.2) and press Enter. Press Enter again to continue the installation.
Press Enter and STOP…
I have find a Windows 3.51 NT Disk as i had only a Window’s NT4.0 Upgrade Disc.

Oh well onwards whilst I create a CD


Todays Update
started to created a DVD NT3.51 image
oops no good
Need a CD-R Copy of NT3.51
Installed on C Drive
Rebooted and then was asked to change drive type to NTFS
Not Reading it correctly i said Yep GO ahead
It is now approx three hours later trying to convert.
have to play the waiting game now as it will reboot once done.


lets wait and see


I have now been crying for an hour.
The check disk finally finished after many many hours
I started the install and then it asked for network config.
I should have said no network and did the network install after finishing the setup

Instead I choose all network option and select install
It goes ok for a while and then BLUE SCREEN

Weird memory error as tie machine does a complete memory test before it starts

Oh well
Start again and wait again for the check disk

aaargh! At least you shouldn’t need to wait for the NTFS conversion step again.

restarted the install today and this time when asked to install networking i said no
i created the emergency disk as well this time
it completed this time and rebooted
i signed on and finally have the welcome screen
I then installed DHCP
Now onto testing and installing other software.

Time to check the hard disk current setup
Noticed the large free space
Created a new partition and it was setup as F:
Time to swap Drive Letters
Now there are hard disk C:, D:, E: and CD-ROM F:

I need to find a period correct CRT


Hi sorry I missed adding updates.
Ok I found a digital monitor model VRC21-K4
It is a 21” CRT with BNC inputs
It is setup but I think I need to find a correct driver for this.
Am stil looking for a proper digital keyboard
Come and have a play with it at the ACMS West st on a open day
Thanks for all the questions