did you try safe mode? also, you may want to run a harddrive diagnostic utility to see if possibly something happened to the drive. Just go to the drives manufacturers website, download the utility, copy it as an image to a disk, change the boot order and boot to the disk. Finally since you said you only purchased the computer a few months ago, it should be under warranty. Might want to give their tech support a call.
I originally posted this on the Microsoft Community, but thought I'd try here. The topic says it all, but here are some details that may or may not be relevant...
I have a Lenovo all-in-one purchased this spring. Runs Windows 8. Haven't used the computer much. My wife and I use for surfing the web, storing baby pictures, and updating our iPod via iTunes.
Tuesday, a small storm came through my town. Nothing serious. The electricity in my house flickered for a second and my computer was turned off. I turned the computer back on. It worked for about an hour, but soon it became sluggish. Every time I tried to surf somewhere online or bring up iTunes, the computer would grind to a halt. I tried to restart and noticed that it had the "Update and Restart" option.
This led to a purgatory of restarting and updating. The computer would finally load, but remained sluggish. The option to "Update and Restart" remained. Rinse, wash, repeat. It finally all seemed better this afternoon. Web browser was up and working for an hour before it returned to perform oddly. The option to "Update and Restart" was once again present.
I read online (using my wife's laptop) that doing a system restore to a previous point before the problem would help. Conveniently, there was a restore point from Tuesday morning. I chose this option, with both the folks online and my computer saying it would not lose any data.
It took a couple of hours, but the computer finally rebooted. Yet upon reboot, it was like starting over. "Hi, we're setting things up for you." my desktop was gone. All that remained was the windows icon in the bottom left and an occasional pop-up warning that my desktop could not be accessed. It also says that Windows services could not be accessed.
I tried the Task Manager -> run "explorer.exe." trick to no avail. Once I bring up task manager, I can see my programs running, but typing in "explorer.exe" does not restore the desktop or start button.
When I look at the task manager, I can see the programs in that list that aren't showing up on the now nonexistent desktop.