usb set up to boot

I installed opensuse 12.1 on an external usb drive and updated it to 4/24/2012.
the setup also includes drive C: with Windows 7 on it.

Now if I boot from drive C, then I am given a choice to select Windows or Opensuse. Everything works the
way it should.

Boot directly from the USB drive does not work

What I would like to do is to just change the USB drive to make it bootable.

Thanks in advance to all who read or try to assist.

Hi. I assume below that drive C is /dev/sda and external USB is /dev/sdb.

YaST > System > Boot Loader > Boot Loader Installation:

  • click Boot Loader Options > check Write generic Boot Code to MBR > OK
  • click Boot Loader Installation Details > Disc Order > select /dev/sdb > click the Up button until it is first in the list > OK
  • check Boot from Root Partition > OK

If you install openSUSE to an external hard drive and intend on booting from that hard drive you need to do the following:

  1. Make sure you can select the external hard drive as your boot drive in your BIOS setup.
  2. Make sure in the booting section of the openSUSE installation, that the external hared drive, perhaps /dev/sdb is listed as being first.
  3. Make sure that all new openSUSE partitions, in the partitioning installation section, are being made on the external hard drive.
  4. Make sure to either install Grub, into the Master Boot Record (MBR) or to install generic boot code into the MBR of the external hard drive.
  5. The MBR on external hard drives will be blank and unable to boot your PC by default, without taking an action as listed in #4.
  6. If you can boot Windows and openSUSE from your /dev/sda drive, it sounds like you installed grub into the MBR of that drive.

For more partitioning info, check out this article on the subject.

Thank You,

I wished to do the same! And I got a lot of help. The method has been outlined by jdmcdaniel3 in the previous post. My post link is

Things just got more complicated!

I unplugged the USB drive and could no longer boot??

So I have to fix drive C: first. Any idea short of reload.

After fixing drive C I may have to start all over with original desire i.e. UEFI.

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?

As posted by PrakashC suggestion per jdmcdaniel3.

It is good to hear you have solved your problem and thanks for telling us of your success.

Thank You,