OpenSuSE 11.4 /Win7 2 hard drives

The installation went smoothly however, I have installed SuSE11.4 on my 2nd Hard Drive. Now Grub doesn’t work and I want to know where and how to install it…any help is appreciated!

Best to let us see what you have done.

post fdisk -l

In general, grub is a boot controller so it needs to go on the drive you boot from. Also it needs to be on the same drive as the /boot directory which is normally set up in root. It may be installed in the MBR of the drive or in the /boot or root partition. If so you need to use generic code in the MBR and set the boot flag.

Change the boot priority in BIOS setup so that your computer boots from the second hard disk.

During the install the Boot area is red and it says this: the bootloader is installed on a partition that does not lie entirely below 128GB
The system might not boot if BIOS supports only lba24
(result is error 18 during install grub mbr)

I’ll try to do the fdisk for more info…

Here is my standard blurb for anyone who wishes to install openSUSE, including booting it from a second or third hard drive, internal or external.

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 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:

  1. /dev/sdb, Load MBR with generic booting code
  2. /dev/sdb1, Primary NTFS Partition for Windows
  3. /dev/sdb2, Primary SWAP (4 GB)
  4. /dev/sdb3, Primary EXT4 “/” openSUSE Partition Marked Active for booting (80-120 GB)
  5. /dev/sdb4, Primary EXT4 “/home” Your main home directory (Rest of the disk)


  1. /dev/sdb, Load MBR with generic booting code
  2. /dev/sdb1, Primary SWAP (4 GB)
  3. /dev/sdb2, Primary EXT4 “/” openSUSE Partition Marked Active for booting (80-120 GB)
  4. /dev/sdb3, Primary EXT4 “/home” Your main home directory (Rest of the disk)

Thank You,

Thank you very much James…that cleared up alot of questions I had.

Thank you very much James…that cleared up alot of questions I had.
You are very welcome MontiCiski. It is hard to condense down so much information into a couple of paragraphs, but I gave it the old try. Other things to know is it is possible to load the grub boot loader into a Primary Extended Partition and mark it active for booting even though it is just a container partition. This is a trick you can use if you do not want to load the MBR with grub. However, it appears that Windows would never allow such an action and in at least one instance a user that had done this tried to make other modifications to the same disk with Windows which more or less totally messed up the partition table, unable to understand such a trick. There is no problem when loading the MBR with grub if your intent is to use openSUSE more or less as your main Operating System. However, anyone who plans on dual booting with Windows Vista or Windows 7 might want to read the following information on Windows 7 Service Pack Installations (which also applies to Vista):

openSUSE Dual Booting with Windows 7 AND Loading Service Pack 1 for Windows 7

Thank You,

Can you post the result of

fdisk -l

Solved, thanks for the help all…11.3 installed like a champ----I think it is the dvd thats bad on 11.4

It seems all my woes were due to the .iso I got off of the opensuse site…it was bad.

Nothing wrong with the iso but you can have bad downloads and burns.