Fixing a dpkg io error

I encountered a dpkg related error a little while ago while upgrading packages on my Ubuntu Lucid server. I couldn’t find a fix on the internet and spent a little while investigating the cause. You can see from the command output that dpkg failed to properly install the Linux kernel package:

root@aeroplane:~# apt-get dist-upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Calculating upgrade... Done
The following packages will be upgraded:
linux-image-2.6.32-33-generic
1 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
3 not fully installed or removed.
Need to get 0B/31.6MB of archives.
After this operation, 0B of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y
(Reading database ... 178303 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to replace linux-image-2.6.32-33-generic 2.6.32-33.70 (using .../linux-image-2.6.32-33-generic_2.6.32-33.71_i386.deb) ...
Done.
Unpacking replacement linux-image-2.6.32-33-generic ...
dpkg-deb: subprocess paste killed by signal (Broken pipe)
dpkg: error processing /var/cache/apt/archives/linux-image-2.6.32-33-generic_2.6.32-33.71_i386.deb (--unpack):
short read in buffer_copy (backend dpkg-deb during `./lib/modules/2.6.32-33-generic/kernel/drivers/ata/sata_mv.ko')
No apport report written because the error message indicates a dpkg I/O error
Running postrm hook script /usr/sbin/update-grub.
Generating grub.cfg ...
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-33-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-32-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-32-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-31-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-31-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-30-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-30-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-29-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-29-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-28-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-28-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-27-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-27-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-26-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-26-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-25-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-25-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-24-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-24-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-21-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-21-generic
Found memtest86+ image: /boot/memtest86+.bin
done
Errors were encountered while processing:
/var/cache/apt/archives/linux-image-2.6.32-33-generic_2.6.32-33.71_i386.deb
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)
root@aeroplane:~#

Somehow the package archive file /var/cache/apt/archives/linux-image-2.6.32-33-generic_2.6.32-33.71_i386.deb became corrupt. Cleaning the local cache of deb packages and then upgrading again fixed the issue:

root@aeroplane:~# apt-get clean
root@aeroplane:~# apt-get dist-upgrade

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