First of all, my original problem was moving an instance of WP from a nested directory /test
to the root directory. In the process or reading all the background in the Codex, I had a pretty good understanding that I would use the Safe Search and Replace script from InterconnectIT
and follow from this doc:
I was still a little confused and in the process did something really stupid. Before moving the files, I didn't go into Settings>General and change the WP and site URL. So when I moved it, I couldn't access the admin screen and everything got worse from there. The good thing is the site had no content and was still a work-in-progress. Also, I have all of the WP files backed up locally. (i'm pretty technical, but i was also in a hurry and just didn't think it through...).
I tried moving the WP files back over to the /test directory and that didn't work. Further messing around I tried Safe Search and Replace again back the other way and well. I was thinking maybe I could edit one of the admin screens like options-general.php, but I'll probably break the internet or something...
I'm just a moron but this is how I learn. :P