It could be hard disk trouble. Make sure you back up all important data in case your hard disk fails.
It's really only a guess, but since it takes so long for your computer to detect the IDE hard disks and then so long for the computer to load, that would suggest that the hard disk is slowly failing, and performance will gradually deteriorate until the hard disk fails completely. I suggest getting the data off before that happens
As for the F1 screen, just press F1 repeatedly until the BIOS screen appears. If you can't open BIOS, that could be a bigger problem.
Hope this helps,
switching on the computer I get the screen which shows the Main Processor is Intel Pentium 4 2.66GHz (133x20.0) the rest of the screen is blank with press F1 or DEL to enter setup right at the bottom. In other words it does not show the IDE drives etc. This screen stays for a long time ( approx 2mins 10 secs) and then I get the found iDE drives followed by the windows XP home which is my OS. and it goes through this, and then the screen goes blank once again but after a further 1min 20 secs it comes up with the Users details which on my computer is 4 people. On clicking on my user detail I get the MS music and up comes the desktop with icons. Over all this has taken 4.5 mins.
Has anyone any ideas as to what has happened to cause this? I am a 72 year old brit, so not the quickest on the planet,but any help will be more than appreciated.
Pressing F1 or DEL on the opening screen do NOTHING.
Also the computer takes a long time to close down.
Your help and/or advice will be appreciated, particularly if it is simple ( Like me)