In this next description of the problem I will explain why the problem exists and possible alternatives for resolving it.
The computer in question is a laptop, which are generally purchased as a brand-named item with a proprietary operating system already installed. (Although exceptions exist to that scenario they are few and far between and often cost more than an assembly-line computer with a Windows or Mac OS installed). The Lenovo Thinkpad W520 was purchased 2 years ago with a 3 year warrantee and came with 2 hard drives and windows 9 pro 64 bit installed. A 3 year contract with Lojack (an anti-theft computer localization application) was included in the purchase, and is installed via windows.
Laptop computers are more easily stolen and I intend to keep windows on one of the two hard drives and have the computer boot directly into it for the next year. After that, I will take my risks. (The laptop has an Intel i7 and 16 Gb of DDR3 RAM and wasn’t cheap). But for now, I want the Lojack activated when the computer is used by someone other than me. (Lojack goes into the BIOS but is activated by Windows, AFAIK).
That’s why I boot into my real OS (the one I actually use - a Debian derivative named Sparky, at present) using a boot disk (or a usb flash drive), at present. Sparky uses Grub2 and a SuperGrub2 disk can be used to boot it. I installed openSUSE to the same hard drive as Sparky, using that drive’s mbr for grub2 on both occasions). openSUSE also installs Grub2 but for some reason the SuperGrub2 disk doesn’t recognize it’s presence.
So I intend to enter the BIOS and change the boot order to boot into openSUSE, but that is not an adequate solution because I want anyone stealing the computer to boot directly into Windows (which is on the second hard drive and no boot manager is installed there except the boot partition Win 7 uses).
The logical questions are:
Can another boot disk be used that will correctly locate the openSUSE installation? Or, can I change the boot order temporarily (which can be done by pressing the blue Thinkvantage button, then F12 to select a specific boot option). That is what I was doing prior to re-installing Win7 using DVDs that Lenovo sent me. (Now, doing that activates the hidden recovery partition - I’ll call Lenovo tech support about it).
Other solutions probably exist. I could re-install openSUSE with the boot loader on the / partition. Or, as I recall, openSUSE allows other boot loaders to be used (i.e. LILO) which could possibly be loaded or activated used a usb flash drive.
So while my situation is not a one found frequently, there are practical reasons for me to want to resolve it and posting this may help do so (if and when someone familiar with these issues reads it and responds).
Meanwhile, I am using openSUSE on my main desktop machine at the moment to write this, which I recently upgraded to v. 13.1 using zypper dub, aided by this forum.
As mentioned earlier, the Live DVD worked well on the W520 and so I decided to install it to that computer. After problems with the net install, I installed it using the Live DVD but can’t boot it yet.