When loading an operating system, there are two key components:
- The bootloader.
- The operating system proper.
Given that very often you don't want or expect the operating system to be on the same partition as the operating system, that means you can place it whenever. Trouble is, Windows often tries to be a smartass, like in your case. You seem to have the bootloader on your HDD, and the operating system on the SSD, which means that whenever you don't have your hard drive, you can't load the operating system. Funny eh? All you need to do now is to remove the HDD from the boot process, and that means installing a new boot loader on the SSD.
The easiest ways tend to be, in descending order, always with the HDD disconnected:
- Boot from the Windows CD and use the startup repair wizard. If that doesn't work...
- Pull up the recovery console and use the tips provided here (Tom's, I know...)
, especially the fixboot and rebuildbcd disk.
Just for paranoia, have a backup of the stuff in your SSD. There shouldn't be any issues with these operations but you never know.