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here are the messages i get when I try to force install:

zack@HAL9000:~$ sudo apt-get install mysql-server
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
You might want to run `apt-get -f install' to correct these:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
  mysql-server: Depends: mysql-server-5.1 but it is not going to be installed
  mysql-server-core-5.1: Depends: libmysqlclient16 (>= 5.1.41-3ubunt�12.3) but 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.3 is to be installed
                         Depends: libstdc+k6 (>= 4.1.1) but it is not installable
E: Unmet dependencies. Try 'apt-get -f install' with no packages (or specify a solution).
zack@HAL9000:~$ dpkg -L mysql-server-5.1
dpkg-query: parse error, in file '/var/lib/dpkg/status' near line 44946 package 'mysql-server-core-5.1':
 `Conflicts' field, invalid package name `
zack@HAL9000:~$ cd /var/cache/apt/archives
zack@HAL9000:/var/cache/apt/archives$ sudo dpkg -i mysql-server-core-5.1_5.1.41-3ubuntu12.3_i386.deb
dpkg: parse error, in file '/var/lib/dpkg/status' near line 44946 package 'mysql-server-core-5.1':
 `Conflicts' field, invalid package name `

any ideas on how to get this fixed?

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Did you already try apt-get update before this installation? There was recently an update to MySQL on Ubuntu. – Janne Pikkarainen Aug 5 '10 at 7:02
yes, the invalid package name stops everything. no matter what I do I get: dpkg-query: parse error, in file '/var/lib/dpkg/status' near line 44946 package 'mysql-server-core-5.1': Conflicts' field, invalid package name – Zack Aug 5 '10 at 11:42

I had a similar issue when mixing repos in /etc/apt/sources.list

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how did you solve it? – Zack Aug 7 '10 at 22:47
Not mixing distributions in sources.list. I don't know if it was your case... $ man sources.list – rhohr Aug 7 '10 at 23:02
BTW, look the line 44946 of /var/lib/dpkg/status, maybe is corrupted and you can fix it there. The disk have space left, doesn't it? – rhohr Aug 8 '10 at 0:01
about 23 gigs...thanks, you jarred some fix it it was: sudo cp /var/lib/dpkg/status-old /var/lib/dpkg/status – Zack Aug 8 '10 at 1:11
You're welcome. – rhohr Aug 8 '10 at 1:20

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