Cannot Boot after fresh install of 11.3 x86_64

So Im trying to install 11.3 x86_64 on my Dell Vostro 1500 laptop. I had been running a dual boot setup of 11.2x64 and win XP but am switching to a single boot on a new harddrive. Ive actually tried 2 hds now and each time I get the same problem. The install goes fine and then the reboot part of the install and first run of Suse things seem to be fine. But then when I power off and then try to log back in I simply get “GRUB Loading stage2Read Error”. Ive tried using my controller set to AHCI and ATA and neither makes a difference. Ive used the Suse recommended partitioning setup, but also tried my own with a separate boot partition, tried with my /home partition encrypted and not encrypted and various other partition setups, but nothing works. Any idea what could be causing this?

Another thing I am about to try is to enable GRUB on the MBR rather than being in root (selected by default). I still have my old drive with my 11.2/win xp setup on it so I can always fall back to that, but would really like to get this working.

Forgot to mention that I verified the md5 of the iso that I downloaded and have been installing with

I always let the GRUB go to the MBR on mine but one thing comes to mind is did you install GRUB2 because they have said that it will not boot from that or Btrfs.

Support for the new Btrfs file system

Btrfs has been developed to become the next generation default Linux file system. openSUSE is the first distribution that lets you choose Btrfs in the installer.

The installer will warn you that Btrfs is still experimental, so be cautious of using it on production system. You also have to remember to setup a separate /boot partition as the boot loader will not boot from a Btrfs partition yet.

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I initially tried to use Brtfs as my /home not as / but thought initially that might have been the problem so in most of my attempts since then I have simply been using the recommended partitioning which has been ext4 and simply enabling encryption on /home.

Yeah the last install was the first time I noticed in the automated setup that it wasnt using the MBR and because I was simply following the guided setup I wasnt paying attention to all the grub options. Guess this next attempt Ill start looking closer into all that and not follow the automated setup

A couple more attempts and its sometimes a stage1.5 and a stage 2 error… I also tried to use LILO (havent touched that for a couple years) but the install process wouldnt complete with that option. Ive switched between enabling and disabling boot from mbr or / both resulting in the same issues. I did notice I was getting an error when probing for EDD so I booted up the install kernell with the edd=off option but that didnt change the outcome at all. Anyone got any ideas?

So Im beginning to think I have a hardware issue. Both the drives Ive been trying work fine as usb drives and do not show any SMART errors when I plug them into my desktop. However with that being said neither of them will allow me to boot after installing openSuse and neither of them will even get windows xp sp2 installed on them. The crappy dell bios does list their sizes correctly, but because I cant see any advanced information about them and the fact that the dell site sucks trying to find any information Im thinking that theres a size constraint im surpassing with them. The 2 drives Ive been trying have been 400GB and 500GB, but the old drive I had windows/suse11.2 on was only 120GB, which shouldnt matter if the BIOS recognizes them and sees them properly but im now going to try installing over my old drive (since I now have a dd made backup). Hopefully this will work.

Installed on the old 120GB drive and it works. Guess its time to upgrade my laptop if I want more space… the issue makes no sense but guess I hit a hardware limitation on disk space, which I cant believe but wouldnt surprise me with the laptop being a dell.

Setting this up should be simple.

You have 2 HD’s
One has 11.2 and XP on it - correct
And you have another to which you installed 11.3 ?

I’m just not clear though. Are these both internal or what.

I would like to see this from a su - terminal

fdisk -l

What is the BIOS boot order?
And if you boot with just the 11.2 HD, what happens?

I actually have 3 hds, however the laptop only has a single drive bay in it.

Essentially the problem is the hardware misbehaves with the drives I have that are larger than the 120GB drive I was running previously.

I have a dd backup of the 120GB which was partitioned with something like 75GB for Windows a 1.51GB swap partition and the rest was for suse 11.2. I blew that away and the disk is now full allocated to 11.3 (2.01GB Swap, 35GB /, and rest allocated to encrypted /home).

Sorry for the confusion I have 3 drives, which I was swapping in and out of the internal bay when I was trying to get things working, but the only one which would behave properly was the 120GB one, which is why I reformatted it and installed 11.3 on it which solved my problems.

Boot order is USB, CD/DVD, HD