Problem installing, Grub bootloader new-b please help!

Hello everyone,

I am having trouble installing Opensuse on my computer. I am hoping you can help. I am very new to Linux but consider myself savvy with Windows and Mac (I prefer Mac tenfold). I wanted to take a crack at installing Opensuse on my old HP computer (I think its 512, 40Gb P3). Every time I try to install the DVD I get an error in reference to the Grub boot loader. I have tried reformatting the HD (there is nothing else on it) and starting from scratch. Every time I get stuck on this step. I have verified the disk and it seems ok. I uploaded some images on the web, hopefully the links work. Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong? Thank you in advance for your help. I am trying to rid my house of all Windows OS!](](](

The error message is telling you that there is a problem with the partition table. Can you do this: Boot the DVD into Rescue and login as root, or use a LiveCD in a terminal as root (switch with the “su” command), and do:

fdisk -lu

That will show us the partition table.

This kind of thing can happen with flakey or customized bios’s (you’d be surprised how often). Or there can be funky things done with partitions that you don’t see, too. So let’s first look at a report of the table itself.

Hi mingus725,

Thank you for your reply. You’ll have to pardon my ignorance, but I’m not completely certain what you mean in your response. When the computer boots into the dvd menu I navigate to repair and I am prompted with a cursor. Am I to type in “root” then “fdisk(space)-lu”? When i typed in root the next line reads "Rescue:~# . When I input fdisk -lu i get “Disk/dev/sda doesn’t contain a valid partition table” What am I doing wrong?

Assuming you have only one hard drive (which is /dev/sda), it means that the partition table wasn’t written properly during installation. One thing to check is your BIOS: it might be set to prevent writing to the MBR. Check under the “security” or “anti-virus” settings.

If so, you need to disable that (i.e., you need to PERMIT writes to the MBR/boot sector(s)). Then, especially if you’re new to Linux, I’d suggest you just try the install again.

You did the instructions correctly. fdisk simply reports the partition table; if it fails then there is something blocking it (as @jsten offered) or there is a problem with how the bios is reporting the disk geometries.

You posted that the machine has a 40GB drive - is this the original drive? If not, do you know what the size was of the original drive? Was there ever a “drive overlay” installed?

Trying getting into the bios setup, and in the IDE drive settings, look for one that has options something like “auto, large, lba” - if it is not set to lba, do that. If it is already set to lba, try setting it to large (if that doesn’t help, return the setting to lba).

Another thing to try: Run the DVD installation, and at the partitioning step, enter the dialog to set it up manually. Create a first partition of only 100MB and give it a mount point of /boot. Then add 3 more primary partitions, 1GB for swap, 10GB for / (root), and the remainder for /home. This approach will ensure that the boot loader files are all within even the oldest of bios limitations. Then at the Boot Loader installation step, enter the dialog and under the Installation check the box for “boot from boot partition” (note, that is “boot”, not “root”) and make sure no other boxes are checked. Then click on Boot Loader Options and on the next screen upper left check the boxes for “write generic code to MBR” plus “set active flag in partition table for boot partition”.

Report back.