Some background info before I start:
Unit: - Sony Vaio PCG-GRX600
OS: - Windows XP Home
Virus Protection: - Norton Anti Virus 2003 (definitions current to 27 March 2004)
I was using my laptop when I noticed most applications kept crashing (in this case just a text editor. As I had the laptop on for several hours at this point and had used several different applications, I thought (stupid me...) to simply LOG OUT and close all applications (not restart) and log in again.
When I did this, I was informed that my password was not valid. Thinking it was just poor typing on my part, I entered it in again - same result. Now, as most people might, I typed very slowly, key by key, and still - it was wrong. Hmm - the 'CAPS' lock was not on and I am most positive that I did not change my password.
Next step? Restart the PC... why not?
Upon restart, I was asked for my BIOS password.
It didn't work either. After three attempts, I was presented with the error message:
I restarted the machine several times - same result.
*) Up to date on all XP patches
*) I had been using my laptop for several hours, and during this time and did have an active Internet connection.
*) Norton Anti Virus is active - all e-mail is scanned and I scan the drives regularly.
*) I am absolutely positive I did not change any of my passwords recently, especially my BIOS password.
Needless to say, I am concerned. Worse is that I am on an extended business trip out and out of the country... and won't be back for a month. I dread sending it into Sony Customer Support but that might be unavoidable (check the net, many unhappy on this subject).
Any suggestions? Have I been hacked? Is it a more serious problem? I'm without a clue here.. :-P