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Working perfectly, then "Hardware not found"

I just used the "Clear Memory" menu item in the Picaxe programming editor to erase a program on a Picaxe 28X1 on a project board, and now when I try to program the chip (or even to clear the memory again), I get a "Hardware not found" error.  Have I somehow ruined the chip?  Is there a way to test the board or the chip to see what the problem is?

 Thanks for any help.

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The hard reset fixed it—thanks for the help!
I've had some com problems recently and with the help from others on this site I have learned that in the options section, selecting "refresh" of the serial port can make a difference. Also make sure you do a hard reset on the chip by either pressing the reset button just prior to communication or turn the power to the chip off, start a download and then turn the chip on. Double check your connection in case it has come loose.