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I can't update my system because it freezes while installing a third-party update (zramswap-enabler)!

Sometimes I get the following message in Update manager:

Could not initialize the package information An unresolvable problem occurred while initializing the package information.

Please report this bug against the 'update-manager' package and include the following error message:

E:The package zramswap-enabler needs to be reinstalled, but I can't find an archive for it.

I tried to remove the zramswap-enabler, but it's impossible because I get the following message:

dpkg: error processing zramswap-enabler (--remove):
 Package is in a very bad inconsistent state - you should
 reinstall it before attempting a removal.
Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

Actually I would really reinstall that package, but it is unable to do it! If I remove this third-party PPA then the system is warning me about a very very serious problem.

So why can I not install/reinstall/remove/update this package and why freezes the updater if I try to update?

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4 Answers 4

This worked for me after pretty much scouring the whole of AskUbuntu and Ubuntu forums! (Source). I'm running Lubuntu 14.04

sudo mv /var/lib/dpkg/info/<packagename>.* /tmp/
sudo dpkg --remove --force-remove-reinstreq <packagename>
sudo apt-get remove <packagename>
sudo apt-get autoremove && sudo apt-get autoclean
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Finally! This did the trick when dpkg and apt won't remove or reinstall a package –  abaelter Mar 12 at 7:51

I had a situation worse than this. I had to remove the half-installed packages by forcing dependencies.

sudo dpkg --remove --force-remove-reinstreq --force-depends <package-name>

Then I had to reinstall them

sudo apt-get -f install

That should solve any issue. But please make sure you have network connectivity when you try to do this. Otherwise, you will have to go through even more trouble.

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Edited out of the question and added as an answer.

  1. Make sure that your PPA is set up.

  2. Remove the broken package via the following command:

    sudo dpkg --remove --force-remove-reinstreq zramswap-enabler
  3. Install the package again:

    sudo apt-get install zramswap-enabler
  4. After restart (not necessary), you are able to install the updates correctly!

Actually you can fix any "Package is in a very bad inconsistent state” issues with this solution!

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The package doesn't exist in precise right now, you might want to try this ppa


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i added this PPA a month ago, but something went wrong. My problem is not about the PPA. I just want to install all updates, but i can't! –  Benjamin Piller Jun 9 '12 at 20:34

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