Following my previous blog post, I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to plug the USB cable in again. And, again, the camera froze, and after taking the battery out and putting it back in, refused to start up.
I tried leaving it without the batteries in for 15 seconds, a minute, 10 minutes, 5 hours, 12 hours. Nothing. At this point I started getting desperate.
I searched for a step-by-step photo guide on how to open my Canon EOS XT/350D up and got the link above. After every photo I tried putting the battery back in just in case the camera changed it's mind.
After taking the 5 screws out at the bottom, I put the battery in, and the screen powered up! Rejoice! I tried to set the date and time but... no buttons responding?!
I take out the battery, put it back in, and no signs of life.
I continue dismantling the camera, getting as far as removing the back cover. If you are going to do this, be VERY careful, as there are ribbon cables attached to it (for the LCD screens). The last camera I took apart, the LCD screen ribbon broke because once you remove the plastic casing of the Samsung ES10, the only thing supporting the LCD screen is it's incredibly fragile ribbon cable. Thanks to eBay, I was able to get a replacement and fix that camera.
Now with the back cover removed, and holding it carefully in my hand, I inserted the battery back in, and tried the power switch. Nothing. Then I remembered that with the back cover off, the CF card compartment's door cannot trigger the microswitch telling the camera whether the door is open or close.
Holding down the microswitch with my hand, I turn the switch on, and SUCCESS! I manage to set the date and time, and get to the ready-to-shoot mode. I don't have any CF card or lens on at this moment, so I of course get the "No CF card" and "f/0" on the displays. I switch the power off, and let go of the microswitch.
Carefully I assemble the camera back together, and put the battery, CF card, and lens back on. Everything works perfectly.
Now to cross fingers and hope it doesn't stop working again before I have enough money saved to buy a replacement.
I'm not sure why it started doing this. I almost always use a card reader to download photos instead of using the USB cable to copy them off. I have used it before, and I've used the USB cable as well to shoot tethered to my PC, but it's not something I often do. Maybe something was loose or just needed a little nudge in the vicinity of the USB port? Who knows.
And my camera is still working now :)