OK, I'm so embarrassed. Let me explain what I found out, and remember my username.Yes swap in the SSD and make it the first boot device in the Bios, it should boot into Windows then.
I'm confused though, the reserved partition should be on both drives.
My ex built this machine and he said there is an hdd with windows and other partitions. There is also a small ssd (64gb), plus the external hdd. That's the assumption I went with, and when I opened up the computer that's what I saw. Or so I thought.
After trying to image and figure out what was going on, I see that there was in fact a 2nd ssd stacked underneath the 64gb ssd. I didn't realize this.
So here is the real setup:
1) hdd - R drive which is the system reserve, plus additional partitions for data.
2) ssd - C drive with windows
3) ssd - 64gb, not sure it's roll, somehow a part of windows. The only thing there are hidden files, one being the recycling bin. When I open it up, it has the same files as the recycling bin on the desktop.
What I did was image the R drive and attempt to install on a new ssd (this would make the 3rd ssd in the system). I unplugged the hdd and booted up. That's when I got the "loading windows" and figured I needed to go into bios and change it to the new ssd for boot. That's why my question yesterday.
But now that I see how this is really setup, I have 2 questions before I continue.
1) can I figure out the roll of the small ssd (letter drive is O:\)?
2) the O drive appears essentially empty (I guess depending on roll above), is it possible to just put R on this drive and not need the new ssd?