After an update session sometimes ago (and yes, I didn't need the computer for quite a while, that's why I can't really tell you the cause). I experienced a persistent fault: "Could not find /dev/disk/by-id/blablabla-part2 - Would you like to fall back on /dev/disk/by-id/blablablabla-part2 (Y/n)?"
Regardless of the answer Medea went to everlasting sleep, um, well, till the reset button was pressed.
The funny thing about this error was: I could easily start a rescue system, mount the drive and all the partitions were there, well readable and according to fsck without any error. Under windows, the partitions were at least correctly shown as well. Repairing the boot manager didn't help, as well as rewriting the partition table. Chroot onto the system as avocadohead mentioned did work as well.
After more than one hour of spending my precious time on the problem, I gave up and reinstalled (openSuSE 11.1 32bit). Runs like a charm again, even with all the customized stuff - thanks to the separate home partition (which by the way during setup Yast still initially wanted to format - when do the openSuSE people actually learn that their customers have separate home partitions ON PURPOSE).