Help in sacramento

howdy, i built an xcarve about 5 years ago {i believe} and in that time i’ve only been able to get it too work a handful of times.
it almost never gets recognized by the computer. i enter the port number manually but no luck.
if it was every time that would be one thing, but every once in while it works fine.
tried different cord, different laptop…always a crap shoot. some days i hit the carve button 20 times and get nothing, other days it fires right up.
i am admittedly an idiot when it comes to computers and would love to have someone come over and help me get this figured out before i take a hammer to it in anger!
i,m in sacramento and can ply you with booze or money or…
please help.