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Thread: Unable to Update E: Read error - read (5: Input/output error)

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    2

    Unable to Update E: Read error - read (5: Input/output error)

    Hi Folks,

    Long time reader, first time poster. I've searched and read similar posts on this topic but have not been able to find a solution.

    When running sudo apt-get update I get the following error:

    Reading package lists... Error!
    E: Read error - read (5: Input/output error)
    E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.

    I have tried the various instructions on some of the other forums including this, nothing has worked:

    sudo rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*
    sudo apt-get update

    The install is pretty new, about a month or so old. I've run 12.04 before without issues on the same PC. In a potentially related issue, my system hangs at times, I haven't had this issue previously.

    The contents of /etc/apt/sources.list is below, i understand it is correct (?):

    # deb cdrom:[Ubuntu 12.04 LTS _Precise Pangolin_ - Release i386 (20120423)]/ precise main restricted

    # See http://help.ubuntu.com/community/UpgradeNotes for how to upgrade to
    # newer versions of the distribution.
    deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise main restricted
    deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise main restricted

    ## Major bug fix updates produced after the final release of the
    ## distribution.
    deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-updates main restricted
    deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-updates main restricted

    ## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
    ## team. Also, please note that software in universe WILL NOT receive any
    ## review or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
    deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise universe
    deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise universe
    deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-updates universe
    deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-updates universe

    ## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
    ## team, and may not be under a free licence. Please satisfy yourself as to
    ## your rights to use the software. Also, please note that software in
    ## multiverse WILL NOT receive any review or updates from the Ubuntu
    ## security team.
    deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise multiverse
    deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise multiverse
    deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-updates multiverse
    deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-updates multiverse

    ## N.B. software from this repository may not have been tested as
    ## extensively as that contained in the main release, although it includes
    ## newer versions of some applications which may provide useful features.
    ## Also, please note that software in backports WILL NOT receive any review
    ## or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
    deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-backports main restricted universe multiverse
    deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-backports main restricted universe multiverse

    deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security main restricted
    deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security main restricted
    deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security universe
    deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security universe
    deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security multiverse
    deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security multiverse

    ## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from Canonical's
    ## 'partner' repository.
    ## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by Canonical and the
    ## respective vendors as a service to Ubuntu users.
    deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu precise partner
    # deb-src http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu precise partner

    ## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by third-party
    ## developers who want to ship their latest software.
    deb http://extras.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise main
    deb-src http://extras.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise main

    Thanks in advance!

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Beans
    1,461
    Distro
    Kubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Unable to Update E: Read error - read (5: Input/output error)

    If purging the package lists didn't work, then I'm wondering if it's a problem with either space on the drive or a bad sector. What's the output of :

    Code:
    df -Th
    Also, can you run a disk check on that drive (or partition depending on what you've got) to make sure there's nothing wrong.

  3. #3
    ibjsb4 is offline Ubuntu addict and loving it
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    4,996

    Re: Unable to Update E: Read error - read (5: Input/output error)

    Post #5 has a possible solution.

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1642574

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Beans
    19,748
    Distro
    Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Unable to Update E: Read error - read (5: Input/output error)

    Hi, that usually means bad sectors in the hard drive, the last person I helped with that error ended up after days of trying to fix it reformatting there drive and reinstalling.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Beans
    2

    Re: Unable to Update E: Read error - read (5: Input/output error)

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the prompt replies

    drmrgd, the output to df -Th is:

    duncan@duncanpc:~$ df -Th
    Filesystem Type Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda1 ext4 109G 64G 40G 62% /
    udev devtmpfs 1000M 4.0K 1000M 1% /dev
    tmpfs tmpfs 403M 876K 402M 1% /run
    none tmpfs 5.0M 0 5.0M 0% /run/lock
    none tmpfs 1007M 1.9M 1005M 1% /run/shm
    //192.168.1.8/mp3 cifs 1.4T 1.2T 172G 87% /home/duncan/PetstoreMusic
    //192.168.1.8/TV cifs 1.4T 1.2T 172G 87% /home/duncan/PetstoreTV

    ibjsb4 - i get a similar error when i copy status-old:

    cp: reading `/var/lib/dpkg/status-old': Input/output error
    cp: failed to extend `/var/lib/dpkg/status': Input/output error

    Wild Man - i think you are on the money. im running a disk scan now. im hoping to avoid the reinstall if possible but ill see how i go.

    cheers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Beans
    1,461
    Distro
    Kubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Unable to Update E: Read error - read (5: Input/output error)

    Yup! I'd say it was a bad sector too. Had to check for both space and that to rule it out and checking for space is a little quicker. Hopefully it's a simple fix and you don't end up having to recover the whole drive.

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