Asus laptop slow boot up

This is an Asus S56C notebook running windows 8.0 For about 3 months now it's had a problem that it takes several minutes before the initial bios screen appears, and then it stays on that screen before windows starts to boot. Once it boots it works absolutely fine.

I've flashed the latest bios into it. This made no difference. Has anyone got any suggestions as to what the problem might be?

Edit: Actually, i'm not convinced that i'm correctly interpretting what i'm seeing. I said it takes several minutes before the bios screen appears. I said this because this is a screen which says 'Asus' across the middle of it. But actually now i'm thinking that this is part of the Windows 8 boot up sequence. But for sure, we are seeing a completely black screen for several minutes, If I press the F2 key during this time, I eventually get into the Bios screen. I've tried disabling hardware in there, and applying Optimal and Setup defaults. All to no avail.
TownTalkAsked:
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rindiCommented:
Since you can get into the BIOS with F2 while it is in that mode, it means the OS hasn't started loading. This to me means there is a hardware problem. I'd make use of my warranty with Asus...
TownTalkAuthor Commented:
It's just over 12 months old unfortunately. So the warranty is expired.
rindiCommented:
In most of Europe you are entitled to at least 2 years warranty by law..., in which country did you buy the laptop?

http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/shopping/shopping-abroad/guarantees/index_en.htm

Sometimes try to give you less warranty, but that is unlawful and you should insist on your rights. If necessary forward it to some authorities.
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TownTalkAuthor Commented:
The laptop was purchased in the UK.

This is getting complicated. I had never heard of this 2 year law. I just did some research and I found a page stating that whilst it is a Europe wide ruling, it has never been ratified in the UK.

http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1646780

The discussion on this page also seems to state that in the UK there may already be a 6 years minimum warranty.

Still checking.....
rindiCommented:
I would just first try going the warranty route. 6 Years seems to be a bit long though...

If you really don't have warranty, I'd first suspect a problem with the HD and replace that. Maybe the PC has problems identifying the disk at startup, so it takes a long time.
TownTalkAuthor Commented:
I tried booting with the disk removed. I thought maybe it would immediately report no boot device available. But instead it just sat there with the blank screen for many minutes before doing anything.
rindiCommented:
Without a disk laptops usually do exactly as you describe, they wait for the disk but it doesn't show up, so it waits and waits... You'd have to install a disk to get proper results.

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Iain MacMillanIT Regional Manager - UKCommented:
also try using other bootable media such as CD/DVD (Linux Live media would be handy) or USB stick thats has been properly formatted and setup as such (in case you have no optical drive).  As Rindi says, it could be the drive, or indeed something else like SATA controller on main board.  You already done the usual first step, flash the bios to the latest version and rest the default settings.  Make sure the boot order in Bios matches what your trying to do, boot to optical first, then HDD or USB then HDD etc.

if you can boot to a CD/DVD quickly, then its likely the HDD or its controller.  if the system still hangs waiting to boot off the USB or Optical option, then you at least have eliminated the HDD as a possible cause.
TownTalkAuthor Commented:
Thanks i'm going round there tonight to run the manufacturers diagnostics on the HDD. I'll try booting from a CD also.
TownTalkAuthor Commented:
I found that the laptop will not attempt to boot off the dvd drive. So this prevents me from running some disk testing software. THe HDD is Hitachi. I found a program called Hitachi Windows Drive Fitness test which can be run while the laptop is booted. This would not detect the drive at all. I've been in touch with Asus support. They've been thorough in going through everything with me. They even got me to reinstall the OS. So now the laptop has to go back to them for repair.

Thanks for your input guys.
Iain MacMillanIT Regional Manager - UKCommented:
thanks for the feedback, looks like a new motherboard is needed.
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