Hey there everyone. I’m a new guy trying OpenSuse 11.4.
What I’ve done is partition my external hard drive to have 130g for my Windows info. Then putting the 90g towards Linux. I used a live cd on my home computer to format the 90g of Linux. I’m simply wanting something to learn more about from time to time that I can use on my home computer, laptop, fiance’s computer, etc. So the formatting went successful. I have linux on the 90g of hard drive that I wanted it on.
The problem is this. When I take the live cd out, when I remove my external hard drive from my computer. The home computer (which has Windows) won’t boot. It comes up with a error 21. But now when I boot with the external hard drive I use, I make it to the boot menu and can boot from Windows.
I need to be able to boot from Windows on this home computer, since my mother and grandparents use this computer quite a bit. I’m not always going to have my ext. hard drive plugged into this computer, so I need some help if you all know now.
Finally, is it safe to plug this into my laptop? Or should I wait?
Thanks again everyone. I appreciate it.
It sounds like you installed the Grub boot loader on your Windows hard drive and not the external drive. First off, using an external drive and internal is OK and does not need to be fixed as long as Windows and openSUSE work. If you are bent on returning the internal drive back to normal, you most likely must use your Windows boot disk to repair your Windows installation by restoring the MBR (Master Boot Record) to its original Windows boot setup and perhaps set the (correct) Windows partition as active for booting. Doing this will stop openSUSE from loading properly. While you contemplate what I have said, here are some partitioning facts to think about.
Each hard drive can have up to four PRIMARY partitions, any of which could be marked active and bootable. No matter what you might hear, only one of the first four primary partitions can be booted from. That means you can boot from Primary partitions 1, 2, 3 or 4 and that is all. In order to boot openSUSE, you must load openSUSE and the grub boot loader into one of the first four partitions. Or, your second choice is to load the grub boot loader into the MBR (Master Boot Record) at the start of the disk. The MBR can be blank, like a new disk, it can contain a Windows partition booting code or generic booting code to boot the active partition 1, 2, 3, or 4. Or, as stated before, it can contain the grub boot loader. Why load grub into the MBR then? You do this so that you can “boot” openSUSE from a logical partition, numbered 5 or higher, which is not normally possible. In order to have more than four partitions, one of them (and only one can be assigned as extended) must be a extended partition. It is called an Extended Primary Partition, a container partition, it can be any one of the first four and it can contain one or more logical partitions within. Anytime you see partition numbers 5, 6 or higher for instance, they can only occur inside of the one and only Extended Primary partition you could have.
What does openSUSE want as far as partitions? It needs at minimum a SWAP partition and a “/” partition where all of your software is loaded. Further, it is recommended you create a separate /home partition, which makes it easier to upgrade or reload openSUSE without losing all of your settings. So, that is three more partitions you must add to what you have now. What must you do to load and boot openSUSE from an external hard drive? Number one, you must be able to select your external hard drive as the boot drive in your BIOS setup. Number two, you need to make sure that the external hard drive, perhaps /dev/sdb, is listed as the first hard drive in your grub device.map file and listed as drive hd0. I always suggest that you do not load grub into the MBR, but rather into the openSUSE “/” root primary partition which means a primary number of 1, 2, 3 or 4. If number one is used, then that will be out. You will mark the openSUSE partition as active for booting and finally you must load generic booting code into the MBR so that it will boot the openSUSE partition. I suggest a partition like this:
- /dev/sdb, Load MBR with generic booting code
- /dev/sdb1, Primary NTFS Partition for Windows
- /dev/sdb2, Primary SWAP (4 GB)
- /dev/sdb3, Primary EXT4 “/” openSUSE Partition Marked Active for booting (80-120 GB)
- /dev/sdb4, Primary EXT4 “/home” Your main home directory (Rest of the disk)