no COM port anymore to connect to Arduino board after Norton upgrade (win xp)

hello

after upgrading from norton security to norton 360 premium I cannot connect the aduino IDE to the arduino board anymore. I used to connect with com4 but the IDE now only shows com3 & my green led on the board doesn’t light up anymore either. the board is like dead.
In win xp the “device manager” doesn’t find the item “COM& LPTports” anymore to change to com4.
(strange…)
I contacted the Norton guys but they cannot help me either: they say Norton security does not block com or serial ports because they are not a system safety risk.

I don’t know if the Norton upgrade is the cause but it happened immediately after the upgrade (have to admit: i didn’t try the arduino before for the last 5 weeks)

Other possibilities as far as i can judge are a problem with win xp or just the board that died (hardware problem).

Anybody any suggestion to help or at least test-find the cause of the problem.
Like
looking for new drivers on win for tte com ports ? (i"m not expert i might say sometign silly here…).
I don’t find the serial ports in the Bios either (only an IR-port).

thanks.

Dear lord... PCMCIA. That is old!

This sounds silly, but do you know that the USB port you're plugging it into works? Check. I ask, because right there, I see that the PCMCIA controller is unhappy, and I think in some laptops, that could bring down USB (or some of the USB ports)

PCMCIA - one of my favorite acronyms!

People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms!

Just called PC Cards these days I think.

http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en/connectors-interconnects/memory-connectors-pc-cards/1442985?k=pcmcia