|Response #1 is worth a try as you still have a few months left in your 1st year.|
"(virus scan ran just hours prior was negative)"
What exactly did you use to scan?
If you use response #2 suggestion, remember that you will lose ALL filesand pics using that method as it will be a fresh install. If you have nothing backed up, I would suggest holding off on that one till after you contact the manufacturer.
If they ask you to send it in for a free repair, I would suggest you remove the HD, slave it to another PC via usb cable, etc and save off all the important documents before you send it out. All they will do is a fresh install...just a warning.
Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers