How to fix the Nikon D40x ‘Error. Press shutter release button again’

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D40x Press Shutter Button Error Fix by Steve Jackson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

In August 2009 my girlfriend and I went to Calgary in Canada, we hired an RV and drove through the Rockies, I took with me my Nikon d40x and two lenses.

After a few days of driving from campsite to campsite, we decided to climb to the top of a mountain in Jasper. At the summit, I setup the tripod and placed the camera on top, ready for a timer shot.
As we waited for the timer to count down, a gust of wind blew the tripod and camera over and smashed onto the ground. After brushing off the dirt and dust all seemed fine, my new 50mm F1.4 lens was ok and the D40x was still working.

However, the next day i saw the dreaded display, “Error. Press shutter release button again”. Whatever I tried would not clear the fault, my holiday with the D40x was over.
I now had to use a Casio point and shoot, not a great replacement but it’s all we had.

When we got back to London I had some quotes to repair it, but they we more than the camera was worth. I also tried to claim on my insurance, but it worked out cheaper not to claim!

As a last resort, I opened the camera up and tried to see what the problem was. Below are the steps I used to fix my D40x.
Since that day in 2009 this blog has helped many people to fix the fault, and others have copied my advice to other sites helping even more people.

The following procedure is what I used to get my D40x working again, many others have since done the same, most with successful outcome, some not. But as with any unauthorised fix it could go wrong and render your camera useless.

What you need:

  • Get a very small cross head screwdriver (watchmaker size)
  • Silicon Grease (I used WD40, but grease is better)
  • Sticky tape
  • A good light

Remove the Battery and SD card

Take pic with another camera or make a note of the location of all the screws, so when you come to reassemble you don’t the screws mixed up (some are different sizes).

Open up the bottom of the D40x putting the small screws onto the sticky tape in order of removal.

There is a small red gear wheel that drives the shutter. The problem seems to be (at least with mine) that it became stuck and/or have too much friction for the motor to drive the shutter.
I wanted to apply some Silicon Grease to the gear wheel but I didn’t have any to hand so i used some WD40 spray.

Silicon Grease might be better as it will cling to the wheels and provide lubrication for a lot longer than WD40. But saying that my D40x is still running fine months later. The only thing to remember is DON’T USE TOO MUCH, if any drips down into the camera optics you might get big problems.

Spray a SMALL amount of Silicon Grease onto the red and white gear wheels.

Put the battery in and hold it down to make contact, next put in the SD card and switch on the camera and try the shutter button. (switch it to manual focus or it might try hunting around for ages for focus)

It might start working, if not try and move the red wheel a few stops with your finger or a small screw driver and then try again.

Once the gear wheels are lubricated and the wheels move it should be ok.
Keep taking some test pictures until you feel it’s ok and no more shutter jams occur.

Then reassemble following the screws backwards on the sticky tape remembering that some are different lengths.

Enjoy your D40x once again


I’m not liable for any damage that could be caused by this procedure.

D40 Repair manual

D40 Parts List

My site at


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