I don’t think the steps in my post overwrite the original MBR on drive C.
Have you tried to set up BIOS to boot from drive C? Or plug in the USB drive, and set up BIOS to boot from that?
If no success, you need openSUSE DVD to repair it. I have never used it though, so I can’t say more.
What is being installed in the MBR is just a tiny bit of code, and it points to folders/files on disk. Since you installed on the USB device, these files and folders are located on the USB device. Hence, if you unplug it, GRUB won’t be able to find it’s files and does not boot. This has been the case from the original install. It would have been possible to leave the Windows disk completely untouched, and install the bootloader in the USB device’s MBR.
It still is fixable. Plug the USB device in, boot from it into GRUB, start Windows and fix the MBR from there,. I don’t use Windows, but there’s loads of info on the web. Then boot into linux, reinstall the bootloader, but follow James’ instructions carefully. You should end up with a system that boots with (Windows & openSUSE) and without (only Windows) the USB device.
I totally reformatted the usb drive with only one partition for now because yast hinted of a wrong format.
My usb sticks load ok.
One of the items I deleted from the install was windows D drive restart data going to sdb. this left /sdb first
area as having no valid data, hence my problems.
In trying to install opensuse 12.1 I found that the problems all started there. In one of the older versions I
was able to hi lite a drive and tell the installer to use only this drive. No longer can do.
Now the installer has multiple references to windows and in trying to root them all out I blundered.
Oh for the good old days! Why do things have to be complicated?