Boot problems on openSUSE 11.1/Vista dual boot

Hi all,

I’m attempting to enable a Vista/openSUSE 11.1 dual boot on a laptop, but have hit a problem after installing openSUSE; booting the machine gives a flashing cursor in the top left corner of the screen.

The machine is a new Dell Studio 15 with a 250G disk. Prior to running the openSUSE install, I managed to shrink Vista using the Vista toolset and PefectDisk 2008. Before the install I had 3 partitions:

Vista 62G
Recovery 10G
Dell utilities (?) 115KB

openSUSE installation offered to create an extended partition with 3 logicals:

‘/’ 20G
Swap 2G
/home (approx) 150G

It also offered to create mount points for /windows/C and /windows/D.

This seemed reasonable with no impact on the Windows partitions, so I accepted this setup.

I’ve read on the forum that, to pre-empt any MBR issues, it’s not a bad idea to use the Vista bootloader to call grub rather than putting grub in the MBR. For this, in the Boot Loader dialog during installation, I took the option to install grub in the root partition. I would then create an entry in the Vista boot loader (most likely using EasyBCD) for openSUSE indicating that partition.

Within Section Management under Boot Loader Settings the installer gave 4 options:

openSUSE (default)
Win 1
Win 2
Failsafe openSUSE

I wasn’t sure what to do at this point and a quick browse of the forum didn’t appear to reveal much. I went with the default.

The installation proceeded with no problem. After being booted into openSUSE, I played around in the KDE for a while and got my wireless up and running.

The problem came when I rebooted the machine to check the boot loader and that is when I was presented with the flashing cursor and nothing much else!

I’ve read a few Vista/openSUSE dual boot issues and many seem to revolve around Vista shrink issues. I took care (or at least I thought I did!) to ensure that openSUSE installation would not touch the Vista partitions and I’m reasonably confident that the problem lays elsewhere and most likely has something to do with the options I took (or didn’t take) with the boot loader.

I have an install DVD, but before I take any further action to try to resolve I’d thought I’d seek advice from the forum; I’m keen not to dig a bigger hole!

This is my first openSUSE and LINUX installation, but I’m reasonably UNIX proficient and happy to work from the command line. Any advice or pointers gratefully received.



Thanks to similar posts, I’ve found swerdna’s howto. I’ll go through that to see if I can resolve my problem.


Your Vista partition is probably ok. Post back if you get a solution from swerdna. This problem is the basis of many threads and usually has a happy ending.

In general, I think it would be useful to change a thread title to show a problem is solved.

I wasn’t able to go through swerdna’s howto until last night, but I can report that it’s resolved my issue.

Like all others in the SUSE community who have made reference to swerdna’s excellent advice, I can now express thanks and add my own recommendation!