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You have 2 options to try before you consider a service tech to look @ the camera.
Prelim : Ensure the batteries are charged & your using standard batteries.
Option 1 : Put the dial in Auto mode and see if that helps with the flash, also ensure you are trying to click the picture in a dim or dark environment, else the Auto flash won't fire if the environment is bright enough
Option 2 : Backup your pictures and reset your camera by using the menu. This should take care of any settings that might have been accidentally turned ON or OFF, then try to get back to the option 1 to see if the flash fires... (you will have to set the date & time post this action)
When this camera is in "Auto" mode the only flash functions available are Auto or Flash Off - in order to get the option of "Flash On" for all pictures you have to put the camera in "Manual" mode - to do this:
-Set the mode switch to the camera icon
-Press the "Func./Set" button
-Use the left or right arrow keys to set it to Manual mode (its icon looks like half a camera with the letter M beside it)
-Press the "Func./Set" button again to save your mode change.
Now when you press the flash button and cycle through the choices there will also be a "Flash On" option.
Make sure that you didn't dislodge the memory card when you put in the battery.
Note that you can get a memory card reader to read the contents of the flash card directly on your computer.
If the 40D is like the other Canon DSLRs that I have used, you can put an update on the flash card that will update the camera's firmware. You might need to go to the Canon side and download new firmware to update your camera. Instructions should be on the site.
I just solved this problem: to put flash, while you are in shooting mode, touch MENU, then REC Mode on the first page, and touch Normal, to take a single picture and then OK, you'll have the Auto Flash which appeares; but I never knew how to put the other kinds of flash...
With the flash activated put the camera to you ear. assuming you have normal hearing when the flash capacitor is charging you should hear it. If you cannot then assume the flash unit has failed. Replacing it is possibly a no no The economic cost make a new camera a better bet Check out Sony to be sure