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We've got a problem. Debian "Jessie" box won't launch X or Tomcat, and USB drive won't mount

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We've got a Debian 8 box (an old Dell 400SC) that won't launch X (it boots to a command line) or Tomcat, nor mount a USB hard drive that we use for backups.

It will, however, accept ssh connections.

In the boot sequence, I see "Failed" where it tries to mount the USB drive. I also can't seem to get that drive to mount on anything else, which suggests that it has been corrupted.

Can somebody suggest where to start looking for the problem?

James H. H. Lampert