Mike - W4HRL
Greetings Chris -
I think you have identified your problem - now we just need to figure out a solution. It sounds like it is a COM port problem. For some reason, COM port 3 that the radio needs is being used by something else before the radio gets turned on.
Although I may not be able to walk you trough the solution, I am sure others will be along who can. But first we will all need some additional info.
What computer system - PC or Mac? If PC, what version of Windows?
Mike in Poquoson VA