|Continuous beeping usually indicates a memory problem.|
"remove cpu fan - continuous beep" - you're lucky you didn't fry the CPU. NEVER boot a system with the heatsink removed from the CPU
"remove ram - continuous beep" - of course it will beep without RAM
"remove the cpu - no beep" - it won't beep without a CPU. The fact that this happened tells you that the CPU is probably good
"reseated all card without cpu" - no beep - as above, no CPU = no beep = normal
"if with cpu - continuous beep" - still indicates a memory problem
Here's the BIOS beep codes for the Award BIOS:
"thinking of replacing the cmos battery"
It certainly won't hurt to do that but you have to understand the purpose of the battery. All it does is keep voltage to the CMOS chip so that the BIOS settings stay in memory when the system is shutdown. There does not have to be a battery installed for the system to work. If you had no battery (or a dead battery), you would have to enter the BIOS & correct the settings each time the system was booted. The settings would then stay in the CMOS memory & the system would run fine until it was shutdown again. As long as the system was never powered off, the BIOS settings will stay in memory. In other words, the battery is just a backup power source for the CMOS chip for when the system is in a "no power" state.