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I have been running Ubuntu 12.04 for the past few weeks. I recently tried to download and install some files through the Update Manager. It located a few files, downloaded them, but then failed to install them. It gave the error:

installArchives() failed: (Reading database ... 
(Reading database ... 5%%
(Reading database ... 10%%
(Reading database ... 15%%
(Reading database ... 20%%
(Reading database ... 25%%
(Reading database ... 30%%
(Reading database ... 35%%
(Reading database ... 40%%
(Reading database ... 45%%
(Reading database ... 50%%
(Reading database ... 55%%
(Reading database ... 60%%
(Reading database ... 65%%
(Reading database ... 70%%
(Reading database ... 75%%
(Reading database ... 80%%dpkg: unrecoverable fatal error, aborting:
 reading files list for package 'libasn1-8-heimdal': Input/output error

I tried using apt-get upgrade but a similar error was produced:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be upgraded:
  icedtea-6-jre-cacao icedtea-6-jre-jamvm openjdk-6-jre openjdk-6-jre-headless
  openjdk-6-jre-lib
5 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 0 B/34.6 MB of archives.
After this operation, 1,024 B of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y
(Reading database ... 80%dpkg: unrecoverable fatal error, aborting:
 reading files list for package 'libasn1-8-heimdal': Input/output error
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (2)

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Edit: Here's some extra information that may be useful. My original problem was that the Ubuntu Software Centre would not open. I found that the Update Manager and Synaptic Package Manager also failed to open. They all gave an error along the lines of:

"installArchives() failed: dpkg: error: reading package info file '/var/lib/dpkg/available': Input/output errorError in function:"

After much googling I seemed to fix that problem as the package managers would open again. When I then tried to download and install any updates from the Update Manager I got the error at the beginning of this post.

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What files have you downloaded? From where? What does the update manager has to do with it? –  mikewhatever May 19 '12 at 14:43
    
You might try to uninstal (and later reinstall)l the package in the message. If that fails you might try to clear out the cache. –  John S Gruber May 19 '12 at 18:06
    
I am still working on fixing this, I just haven't had the chance yet. I am going to try instructions given here: goo.gl/oOKqG when I have the chance. –  user64654 May 21 '12 at 12:36

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I have fixed the problem with these instructions. It should be noted that I had a few differences to the solution given there. The status file was not easy to edit (as it is an important file and never meant to be edited). Any edits made there should be done with care, and the file should be backed up before you make any changes.

I had to repeat steps 4-8 three times (each time the error would be the same just with a different package). Finally when all the packages were removed, I was able to reinstall them, and it fixed my problem.

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1  
Could you instead provide the steps here instead links? –  Braiam Aug 31 '13 at 22:37

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