Max MSP Doesn't Recognize Until 'Reset'

I am trying to find a solution to a problem I am encountering...

Sometimes when I start Max MSP, the software recognizes that the USB to serial is attached, but will not get incoming serial data from the arduino. If I hit the reset button, Max then gets the data just fine. I would say this happens (having to hit reset to get communication) 1 out of 10 times, but for an end product, this isn't suitable.

I don't know if I need some delay or a handshake, or if I am simply reading the first bit of serial at a bad time (middle of a byte).

My Arduino code and Max program work flawlessly if/once Max gets the arduino serial output.

Thoughts or suggestions??

Thanks for any advice!

Yes, any ideas ?? I need to use Max and Arduino for a permanent exhibition.. And need to resolve this problem.