Can't find Specified file "AVRDUDE"...

I’m using an Arudino Uno. I’ve been using it for a few months and it has been working fine until now. I tried uploading a sketch and received the following error:

Using Programmer : arduino
Overriding Baud Rate : 115200
avrdude: ser_open(): can’t open device “\.\COM3”: The system cannot find the file specified.

avrdude done. Thank you.

Problem uploading to board. See http://www.arduino.cc/en/Guide/Troubleshooting#upload for suggestions.

I tried uploading the “Blink” sketch and received the same message.

I’ve downloaded the newest version of the IDE, and the Arduino is connected to COM3. Also, I’ve used two different Arduino Uno boards. Is it possible that the specified file is simply missing from its expected location? I’m not a great computer tech, just an average user. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Cole

cdun41: the Arduino is connected to COM3

What is your evidence that it's on COM3?

Clicking on "Tools," the Port Option shows Port: "Com3 (Arduino Uno)" Then, hovering over that option, the next menu shows "Serial Ports" and the only option is Com3 (Arduino Uno)

Note that the "Serial Ports" is grayed out, but Com3 (Arduino Uno) is in full black.

Thank you,

Cole

Does COM3 show up when the Arduino is Not plugged in? Mine does. Just "COM 3".

Thank you for responding.

No, Com3 doesn’t show up with Arduino not plugged in. In fact, without Arduino plugged in, the “Port” option on the Tools menu is grayed out.

Thank you.

Cole

Update: I've gone to the online web editor and uploaded two sketches. The first was a simple modification to the blink sketch which simply included two LEDs which blink alternately. The second was a sketch which uses a shift register and allows you to place a hexadecimal number on the shift register and light eight LEDs according to the hex number. Both sketches uploaded correctly and worked properly. I used two different boards for this process - one board for each sketch.

Note: I'm following Paul McWhorter's series of Arduino Tutorials. The shift register sketch is from Tutorial number 42.

Since the boards are working properly it leads me to believe that the problem is with the software installation. Does anyone have any ideas on how I might solve this issue?

Thank you,

Cole

I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling the IDE. This didn't help. Any ideas?