Any message on the screen you see before you see "Loading Windows 98 ..." or the equivalent with XP comes from the BIOS, and reloading the OS doesn't have any influence on it. So it isn't surprising at all. Hope your reload did solve some other problems for you.
Searching on google I find the explanation you refer to. But without the 162 I find
"The values stored in CMOS RAM are either corrupt or nonexistent. Run BIOS Setup."
and also the warning message from AMI BIOS
"CMOS RAM is powered by a battery. The battery power is low. Replace the battery."
which casts some doubt on the battery story in my opinion.
Much more on it (but not necessarily more informative!) in google groups. The battery story repeatedly comes back anyway.
It won't harm to replace the battery. If the message persists, go into the BIOS setup and see if you can find anything irregular. Just resetting it to default values (would help to solve any corruption) and this will be done automatically if it is without power long enough, so you just might never know if it really was a battery problem or just solved by the reset.
You might try the reset first. Might save you the cost of a new battery.
Hope this helps.
This is a message I get at boot up, before I see any kind of screen. Oddly enough, its also a message I got before using my recovery disk. I thought the message would be gone. I just read someplace that it might be my bios battery is dead.
If it is my battery I wonder if it could have been the root to some of my previous problems.