Funny thing is (depending on your sense of humor) that when I am in the Arduino IDE, if I unplug the device, the port option is greyed out. If I plug it in I see the com3 option and am able to select it. Then I get the avrdude err when I attempt to upload. So that's kind of one indicator that it is seeing the port, but maybe not the device.
OK so I go to device manager, click on Com3, select driver from disk and under arduino\ drivers I select the 'arduino uno.inf' file. After a while, all hell breaks loose and I get a bluescreen crash with usbhub.sys error message address FFFFF88006628A423. So that happened 2 or 3 and as I am pretty bloodyminded I kept on trying. Now I get the blue- screen simply on plugging in the USB/Arduino without even trying to mess with drivers.