Triple Boot Vista, Win7 and an old XP partition

Hi all hopefully someone can advise me.

I have searched and read and not found a solution for what I am trying to achieve.

I have a new(ish) machine which came with Vista Ultimate and an upgrade to Windows 7. This machine replaced an old XP machine.

Not wanting to wait for Win7, I created a partition and installed Win7 RTM using Paragon Partition Manager to “install new OS” and all worked fine until I created a third partition and copied my old XP partition from my previous machine into it with a view to triple booting.

OK the Principle Question - Is it possible to boot into the old copied XP partition without a brand new install of XP being carried out ? I have tried Repairing the installation but that only appears to have affected my Win 7 installation and I now get the “Winload.exe 0xc0000428 Windows cannot verify the digital signature for this file” error which I am having trouble solving.

I have tried Paragon Boot repair options and EasyBCD 2.0 but without luck at present. In fact I have tried so many options and variations that it’s all beginning to merge into one!

I would like to sort this out before Win7 becomes official next week and, ultimately, I would like access to all three operating systems but would really prefer not to have to reinstall any from scratch as I find it really time consuming and frustrating. I’m also not too keen on using the Virtual XP option in Win7 as it is not very helpful with viewing my drives – I have three HDDs split into about 10 partitions for varying purposes – and it would require a new install with drivers, updates, etc, etc.

Thanks for your time in reading this.



Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Hi GD, welcome to NST.
How old is your XP, and is it an OEM licence (pre-installed on your old PC) or full retail/upgrade ?
Moving an old IDE drive, containing XP, into a new SATA PC, will result in an inability of XP to start up in its new environment for lack of SATA drivers. If the XP CD pre-dates SP2, then the SATA drivers won't be included on the CD either, so a repair install won't do the trick.
If the licence is OEM, the whole exercise is pointless anyway. The repaired XP would need re-activation because of the massive environmental upgrade, and no validation will be forthcoming because the EULA ties that software exclusively to the old hardware it was purchased with.

Assuming none of that applies, your problem with Vista seeing W7 boot loader as unsigned has cropped up many times. The only workaround I know of, is to make W7 the controlling boot manager, and have the W7 BCD boot Vista, instead of the other way round.
Hi Terry

The "old" XP drive is a SATA drive which, in fact, was upgraded to a 1TB drive earlier this year and so just slots straight into my new machine and the original XP was indeed OEM so I can see where you are coming from and confess it is not something I considered.

I was assuming (without serious thought!) that if Win7 comes with virtual XP which I have installed and got working then why not use my previous XP which has already been setup and updated!


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
I know it's annoying. My Vista is OEM builder - self build, so it's tied to this PC for ever, but that's why I only paid about 20-30% of the full retail price. It's the price you pay (whichever way you look at it.)
I'm not quite sure how the W7 virtual XP business works. Could you find the VXP serial in the registry, and quote that when activating your repaired XP ?
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There are two hurdles here.

The first is getting the o/s to boot on new hardware. It will have the drivers installed relevant to the previous machine it was on.

Paragon have a function ( don't know if it's on your product) - boot the Paragon cd , select boot corrector, select Adjust o/s to boot on new hardware. That is an awesome tool.

The second difficulty is the license as Terry says.

Windows will detect it is on new harware and you will need to reactivate. You need the right kind of product key for that.

For an OEM system build license, MS will give a new license on the phone - e.g if the mobo dies and has to be replaced.

They will not if you tell them it is on a new machine.

You can only do that once with the o/s of course.
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Super Moderator
Staff member
Windows 7's Virtual XP sets up a VM (vanilla install) using a modified version of Virtual PC. You won't be able to use your existing installation with it. The VM only serves to run applications incompatible with Windows 7, so you'll need to re-install the apps one by one.
Paragon have a function ( don't know if it's on your product) - boot the Paragon cd , select boot corrector, select Adjust o/s to boot on new hardware. That is an awesome tool.
Tried that without success although have used it successfully in the past.

I shall try removing all HDDs except XP and try to set that up first before attempting the multi-boot. Only really need it because my Microsoft Steering wheel does not have Vista/Win7 drivers available for what little gaming I do!!