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There is a small backup battery in the main battery compartment. I believe the XTi uses a CR2016 battery. It provides backup power to maintain the camera's settings when the main battery is removed. Bob Kilbourn www.camerarepairs.com
Be aware that the built in flash does not pop up automatically in all picture modes. Try it when in the different modes (on the mode dial) and see what I mean. Does it popo up when manually opened ?, (small button on front left hand side of the viewing pentaprism/flash housing.)
Here is a link which may help you. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1031&message=9598105
It may be that the contacts on the lens is dirty, follow the directions, by using a clean pencil eraser (I would also suggest to use alcohol and clean the contacts after using the eraser). Also to remove the date button battery and the other batteries, then turn on the camera (with all batteries removed). Then put the batteries back in.
The EOS Digital Rebel, EOS Digital Rebel XT and EOS Digital Rebel XTi do not support stamping the date and time on the image.
It is not possible to record the date and time as part of the image at
the time the picture is taken. However, the date and time is captured
in the EXIF information of the image at the point of capture. It is
possible to print the image with the date and time via printing
software. Please see the documentation for the software package that
you use for printing images for the proper procedure.
This is a Digital SLR
With SLR cameras you can only use the viewfinder
because the image comesi nto the lens and up to the viewfinder via a mirror.
When to take a pic the mirror flips up[usually with a crash] and the image goes to the CCD-
afterwards you will get an image briefly in the LCD.