I was looking into your issue since I had a simular issue a few years ago with an Acer unit and I found this http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/alerts-recalls
(BTW, my Acer ended up in the trash) Just saw that is too late to file a claim
it does explain your (and my previous) problem.
I do not know of a current way around it. Remove hard drive, format it and install Ubuntu perhaps?