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Old 12-14-2006, 02:29 AM   #1
zlya
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How do I get rid of an obsolete package?


Hello,

I'm running Debian on an Inspiron Notebook. That is, I would be if it were working, currently I'm using Knoppix 5. The kernel is 2.6.17.7. I compiled it myself (with extensive help) which may be the root of all my problems, but I'm not quite ready to give up on it. It worked beautifully for three months, and now hasn't worked for about two weeks. By hasn't worked, I mean that I choose it under GRUB and then I get a message: Unpacking the kernel, ok, loading Linux . . . and then ten minutes later or so it goes to a blank screen. Sometimes it restarts itself at that point.

So I'm trying to reinstall everything, in the hopes of getting Linux working again. I ran: apt-get install --reinstall `dpkg-query --show --showformat '${package} '` and got several errors of this type:

Reinstallation of kernel-image-2.6.17.7 is not possible, it cannot be downloaded.

I got that type entry for several packages, including acx100-2.6.8-3-686. Recognizing this as something to do with a wireless network that I no longer use and a kernel that I removed a few weeks ago, I decided to delete it: apt-get remove acx100-2.6.8-3-686. This turned out to be a bad idea. Now when I run apt-get install --reinstall `dpkg-query --show --showformat '${package} '` I get:

Reading Package Lists... Done
Building Dependency Tree... Done
Package acx100-2.6.8-3-686 is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
E: Package acx100-2.6.8-3-686 has no installation candidate

So my question is: how can I find out WHAT package refers to acx100-2.6.8-3-686? And how do I make it not refer to it? I don't particularly want to reinstall acx100-2.6.8-3-686 since I no longer use a wireless network; I'd much prefer to just get rid of the bit that refers to it so I can carry on my fight to try to reinstall the kernel-image.

I've tried apt-get upgrade and apt-get update, and I've tried adding -f and -m (separately and together) to the install --reinstall line, all with no effect. I'm about two inches away from deleting everything on the hard drive and installing from scratch, but I figure I'll give it another week just in case. I'm a complete newbie, but I'm great at following directions, so if you need any more information than I've given you, please tell me how to get it.

Thank you,

zlya
 
Old 12-15-2006, 08:58 AM   #2
m_yates
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The message about the package being unavailable just means it isn't in the repositories you have listed in /etc/apt/sources.list It is nothing to be worried about if you don't need the package. The fact that some other package refers to it isn't a problem either if you do not need that package. That issue probably isn't what is causing you not to be able to boot with your custom kernel (especially since it sounds like you were having the boot up problem before removing acx100-2.6.8-3-686).

The error message about not being able to reinstall the kernel is also because the kernel package is not available in the repositories you have in /etc/apt/sources.list. That is because you have a custom kernel.

Rather than trying to reinstall everything, try to find the cause of the boot issue. Do you see boot messages? Have you looked for error mesages during boot up, or in /var/log/kern.log?
 
Old 12-26-2006, 06:48 PM   #3
zlya
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Thank you for your help, and sorry for the delay (I haven't had internet access for a while). The reason I would like to get rid of the references to the package is that when I try to run apt-get install for anything, I get the message regarding the obsolete package acx100, and then it stops. It won't even try to install other packages, as long as I've got the obsolete package in the way.

I ended up deleting the custom kernel manually, and installing a new one. This seemed to work for several weeks, but now I am having the same problems again.

My old kernel displayed nothing on startup between
Unpacking the kernel . . .Ok, loading Linux

and the login screen. So when it broke, literally all I got was the Unpacking the kernel message and then, about ten minutes later, a blank screen.

I looked in /var/log/kern.log, but it is huge (6MB). I mean, it took about 15 minutes to display, all flying past. Is there a way to search it or display just error messages? Or could you give me a hint what I'm looking for?

Using my new kernel, I do get messages on startup and when shutting down. When I tried to shut down yesterday, I got the message:

Remounting filesystem read-only
end_request: I/O error, devhdc, sector 57541484
EXT2-fs error (device hdc3): read_block_bitmap: Cannot read block bitmap - block_group=56, block_bitmap = 1835008

That message kept repeating, and I couldn't do anything to stop it or shut down except press the reset button. When I started up next, it said that the filesystem hadn't exited properly, and it ran fsck. It came up with several errors for me to fix, which I fixed. When I tried to shut down today, I got the same message.

I realize that this has strayed a bit from the original attempt to delete the package, but any help is appreciated, and I would still like to get rid of that package eventually.

zlya
 
Old 12-26-2006, 08:22 PM   #4
m_yates
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Is /dev/hdc a hard drive or CD/DVD drive? If it is a hard drive, you need a new one immediately. The I/O error message means you have a bad spot on the disk. It is either a CD or DVD with a bad spot, or it is a bad spot on your hard drive. A failing hard drive can cause all sorts of problems.
 
Old 12-26-2006, 08:47 PM   #5
Sepero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zlya
Remounting filesystem read-only
end_request: I/O error, devhdc, sector 57541484
EXT2-fs error (device hdc3): read_block_bitmap: Cannot read block bitmap - block_group=56, block_bitmap = 1835008
Looks like your harddrive is dieing.
 
Old 12-27-2006, 06:30 PM   #6
zlya
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Registered: Dec 2006
Distribution: Debian
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I had thought the problem might be with my hard drive, so I tried to check. I ran smartctl on Knoppix, which I thought would tell me if the hard drive had problems, but it said there were no errors. Is there another way to check and make sure that this is a hard drive problem before giving up? I'm living in a place where it is somewhat difficult to get new hard drives.

Thank you,

zlya
 
Old 12-27-2006, 08:08 PM   #7
Sepero
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I've gotten errors similar to that from harddrive cables that where going bad. Definitely make sure you have backups before continuing though.

It looks like you're using a ext2 or ext3 filesystem, use this command:
e2fsck -c /dev/hdc3
 
  


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