I don't know diddly about mother boards and such, so I shan't comment on whether the battery is or is not at the crux of it all... Usually, most everything else on a computer goes belly up before a battery does...I am assuming that you don't know diddly either...so go to someone who knows about this sort of stuff... It does not sound like a software issue...IMHO...
re: floppies: to reclaim that floppie, sometimes, just reinsert and reformat...all is not lost...in fact, since it already reformatted, it is already done... the only problem I've found is that once XP reformates a disc it is useless for most everything else
, so, if you can get "fresh" [pre-formatted] floppies, it is less confusing and time consuming...if your computer cannot prepare the floppies properly, and you have only one computer [many have a main frame and a laptop] then you may need to have someone else prepare the discs for you. Since, you do not need your own setup to prepare them, one computer is as good as another, as you are only downloading what is going to go on the floppies rather than scanning your own system and using it to prepare them, like an ISO boot disc...
re: batteries, et al; I'd take the whole shebang to a small computer store, not a big boxer, and have them check it out...just ask them to check to see if it needs one, and while you are there, ask them to check the mother board for any blips...to see if anything is amiss...the smaller stores, especially the ones that build units for customers, will often tinker around with it for a lot less then the big boxers in the hope that you will return with more business...the big boxers don't need you or your business on that scale...help the little guys
re: motherboard: Motherboard Troubleshooting Procedures
You might get some insight into your problems there. There are many software available, but I'd leave it to a qualified techie to do, as noted above...they've got the proper equipment and know what they are doing.
A google search for your specific problems may turn up good advice e.g. "clock does not work" This was an interesting site that I turned up... Howstuffworks "Why does my computer need a battery?"
" Why does my computer need a battery?
Most computers have a small battery. In many cases, the battery is soldered directly onto the motherboard, but the battery is usually in some sort of holder so it is easy to replace. Computers are not the only things that have a small battery like this -- camcorders and digital cameras often have them, too. Just about any gadget that keeps track of the time will have a battery.
In your computer (as well as other gadgets), the battery powers a chip called the Real Time Clock (RTC) chip. The RTC is essentially a quartz watch that runs all the time, whether or not the computer has power. The battery powers this clock. When the computer boots up, part of the process is to query the RTC to get the correct time and date. A little quartz clock like this might run for five to seven years off of a small battery. Then it is time to replace the battery.
This does not explain why your computer would not boot, however. You would expect the computer to boot fine but have an incorrect time and date. The reason your computer would not boot is because the RTC chip also contains 64 (or more) bytes of random access memory (RAM). The clock uses 10 bytes of this space, leaving 54 bytes for other purposes. The BIOS stores all sorts of information in the CMOS RAM area, like the number of floppy and hard disk drives, the hard disk drive type, etc. If the CMOS RAM loses power, the computer may not know anything about the hard disk configuration of your machine, and therefore it cannot boot.
Many more modern computers are not quite so dependent on the CMOS RAM. They store the settings in non-volatile RAM that works without any power at all. If the battery goes dead, the clock fails but the computer can still boot using the information in the non-volatile RAM area. "