|The time wandering does sound like the CMOS battery was bad, but that would not by itself prevent starting. Removing the CMOS battery clears the CMOS/BIOS setting memory so after you replace it, you should go into your BIOS set up, reset the clock from there, reset the BIOS to defaults, Save and exit, but go back in and make sure that your CPU. memory, and graphics settings are correct as well as setting your hard drive as bootable and your boot order. Save changes and exit. If these do not help, you have another problem also and that may require more details to help you with.|
Other things you can do/test:
Run Memtest from a bootable CD to test your memory for errors. No errors are acceptable.
Run hard drive utility from hard drive manufacture's site to test your hard drive. Use the longest test that it offers. Minor errors will be fixed and reported, major errors or many minor errors will require replacement.
These tests will also prove that much of your other hardware also works.
You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.