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I am attempting to upgrade to the most recent Ubuntu OS but i am being stopped with warning that mfc6490cwlpr:i386 is in a very bad inconsistent state. the warning suggests that I should reinstall before I remove this pkg. The following is my attempt to do so.

dpkg: warning: overriding problem because --force enabled:
 Package is in a very bad inconsistent state - you should
 reinstall it before attempting a removal.
(Reading database ... 284218 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing mfc6490cwlpr:i386 ...
start: Unknown job: lpd
dpkg: error processing mfc6490cwlpr:i386 (--remove):
 subprocess installed post-removal script returned error exit status 1
Errors were encountered while processing:

me@mycomp-Studio-1737:~$ ^C
kingston@kingston-Studio-1737:~$ sudo dpkg --configure -a
[sudo] password for ME: 
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of mfc6490cwcupswrapper:i386:
 mfc6490cwcupswrapper:i386 depends on mfc6490cwlpr; however:
  Package mfc6490cwlpr:i386 is not installed.
dpkg: error processing mfc6490cwcupswrapper:i386 (--configure):
 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
Errors were encountered while processing:
me@mycomp-Studio-1737:~$ sudo apt-get install mfc6490cwcupswrapper:i386
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package mfc6490cwcupswrapper:i386

Needless to say... I have had no luck. Can anyone guide me through this?

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I'd suggest visiting the Brother Linux Driver page and download the required *.deb files. Then use dpkg -i mfc*.deb (if you are on i386 -- on 64bit you would need dpkg -i --force-all mfc*.deb instead) -- which fulfils the request of "reinstall it". Hopefully, after that the package no longer is in a "bad state", and you can upgrade. In the worst case, you may have to uninstall all the brother packages, then upgrade, and finally re-install (and re-configure) them.

I created an installation script to ease the installation of Brother printer drivers which can be used for a clean installation -- and was successfully used for an MFC-9120CN on Ubuntu 12.4 64bit. It requires the packages downloaded from above mentioned driver page to reside within the same directory, and should work on 32bit and 64bit installations as well, taking care for all dependencies and quoting necessary steps.

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Izzy I have attempted your suggestion with this result "My Comp:~$ dpkg -i --force-all mfc*.deb dpkg: error: operation requires read/write access to dpkg status area" – user74612 Jul 22 '12 at 15:33
@user74612 in the beginning, you forgot to include the command executed. If I interprete things correctly, you used apt-get to install the packages -- which is not possible, as they are not included in any repository. You must use dpkg instead. I posted an installation script I created to pastebin – Izzy Jul 22 '12 at 15:41

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