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you must wait until loading is complete to access particular frames of the external swf. use your preloader code to time the execution of your goto method after loading is complete.
After the preloader runs in the first SWF, a main menu is shown - that is where I have the link to the external file - but I do not know how to have the link go to a particular scene in the other swf.
your link to the external file must be a loadMovie() or loadMovieNum() or loadClip() statement. if it's one of the first two, you'll need to use a preloader for the external swf. otherwise, you'll use onLoadInit().
we can probably reuse your current preloader by putting it in a function that has a timeline parameter and passing the timeline that we want to preload: _level0 when your main swf loads and your target movieclip if you're using loadMovie().