its a second hand camera from ebay, received this week.
it was all functioning fine, until it was in use as a webcam on my laptop using ExtraWebcam software. (http://extrawebcam.com/)
the camera was in video mode with the manual focus mode enabled on the lens (standard ef-s 18-55mm is lens), and all was working well, until it suddenly went to the error message. the camera had no sd card installed at this time
I Have fixed the issue now. please close this question now.