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There are a few things you can try. Here is an excellent blog about lens errors and stuck lenses, and it covers what can be tried to free it up: http://camerarepair.blogspot.com/2007/12/fixing-lens-error-on-digital-camera.html
They say about 50% of lens problems can be fixed trying their suggestions. Hope you're one of the lucky ones! Also, if nothing works, get an estimate before having it repaired. Often, it's just better to get another camera.
Always check the batteries first but if is it still giving the same fault, your camera is faulty. It should be taken to an authorized repair centre for a repair estimate. Very few digital cameras have any user-serviceable parts.
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Thanks Richard Scott Technical Support New Zealand
The A540 works with SD cards. Your 4GB card is actually an SDHC card. While it fits into the slot, it is electronically incompatible and will not work in this camera. You need to use SD cards, 2GB and smaller.
You will most likely need to send the camera in for service. There really is no way to repair this problem on your own. Since
you are not out of your 1 year manufacturer's warranty, you will not
yet qualify for the upgrade program, however Canon does offer deep
discounts in the Canon Loyalty program for situations like yours once
you are beyond the one year manufacturer's warranty. It may be true
that it would cost more to repair than to replace, and that's why the
Loyalty program is great because you will at least save a bundle on
getting another camera.
Some of The Canon Powershot A530 and A540 cameras are subject to an advisory recall. Seems that a small spring on the battery compartment door can short out the batteries. Suspect this of yours, in that you mention that your batteries aren't lasting long. If your camera is on the list, Canon should fix this for you for free, including free shipping both ways. This is regardless of your camera's warranty status. Please check the following link for more info: