A few days ago I gave my children a Canon IXUS i5 that stopped working a while back. It had always bothered me that it could not be fixed and the more I would see them play with it the more it got me thinking that the problem it was suffering from was neither mechanical nor to do with the electronics.
I had that camera a few years ago from a friend which had asked me to look at it as it seemed to be stuck in movie mode despite which position was the selector in. Replay was movie mode, photos was movie mode.
It had to be with the firmware and there had to be a way to either reset it or flash it anew.
I opted for the easy way first and tried to reset it. As you can imagine no mention of this on the manual and most upsetting not much on the internet either!
Electronic toys generally have a combination of buttons or keys that can be used to enter hidden features one of which can sometimes be a reset. About an hour later it was clear that this approach was not going anywhere, the camera has 9 buttons so it should have taken me longer but the more obvious combinations i.e. power button + menu, power button + function and some others weren’t really promising.
I then decided for a radical approach; take it a part! (© Dave Jones)
It is a shame not to have taken any pictures of the process but frankly … is it really worth to anybody knowing the step by step process to repair such an old camera?
To cut the story short, after removing the rather obvious screws, you get to expose the main PCB which sits on the front of the camera. Remove all the flat cables and get the PCB free. On its reverse you will find the tampon battery. Remove that for a couple of minutes (maybe much less) and job done! After putting the camera back together the camera is reset to factory settings and the problem is gone.
Little I new that this is pretty much the same procedure to get rid of the “Memory card error” affecting the IXUS 400 and apparently other models of the same family.
Well, this might not be of much help to many but certainly was of great satisfaction to me.