avrdude: stk500_getsync(): ot in sync: resp=0x00

Hi all,

I am not new to Arduino so am a bit frustrated and shocked to be having an issue. This is my first time running an arduino (Uno) connected to a Windows 8.1 machine. New Uno connected via USB. Trying to run the Blink sketch. Compile is fine, upload fails with the message in the subject line.

I have been all over this forum trying like hell to get the USB port to show up properly. Currently Device Manager says its "USB Serial Port (COM3)"... I have tried to use Update Drivers, Browse My computer, Let Me Pick, uncheck "Show compatible hardware", select Arduino LLC (www.arduino.cc), Arduino Uno. It starts to do its thing then my computer totally crashes hard.

I have gone as far as obtaining the beta software and trying those drivers, and also went straight to the FTDI website and obtained and installed the current drivers. Nothing works.

Please help, starting to pull hair out.