I use (used?) Linux Mint/Debian 10 with Gnome 2, but it's currently blatantly refusing to let me use my computer anymore.
I was running regular programs on my computer (Konversation, Firefox, gedit, supybot, Guake), and I tried to install Inkscape (just in case any of this is somehow mysteriously relevant). The Inkscape install did something where (ENTER) showed up on the screen and I couldn't get rid of it, so I canceled it. But then I thought maybe if I tried again I could make it this time, so I tried again, and this time hit a bunch of random keys. After some keys, it went into a menu and then I picked something and it suggested some other random keys as options, like q. I picked q and that worked, but I have no idea how you're supposed to figure that out.
(sorry if this isn't relevant at all!)
Soon after doing that I was working on my supybot plugin when the NetworkManager turned into a the-internet-is-gone icon. This wasn't unusual at all since I have completely terrible Internet, so I just wheeled the cursor over to reconnect, and... it did nothing. I clicked and clicked and clicked on the router to no avail. It didn't just not reconnect, the click didn't even make the context menu close. It just didn't go through, even though I could click other things.
I decided to restart, instead... but I couldn't tell how, because when I clicked the shut down button in the Mint menu, the pop-up that came up was full of squares in place of text. So was the logout pop-up. In retrospect I guess I should've stayed to check more things for brokenness, but I figured a reboot would fix everything, so I held down the power button.
I have no way to grab the text to show what it says on boot up, but basically it says a thing like "hard drive failure may be imminent please back up your data" (which it's said for months and months) and then "unable to enumerate usb device on port 3" (which it's also said for quite a while) and then as far as I can tell a bunch of normal stuff that says "... done" after it. Then it says something about how something/something/dev/NetworkManager doesn't exist and so loading the NetworkManager failed (red text for "failed!"). I have no idea if it's always said that or not.
Then it loads to a broken login screen, which has the login box but with a computer picture instead of a person picture. Under that, it says my computer's name, and if I click on that text it switches to saying the OS name. The rest of the box is blank. On the top is an accurate clock in white text. On the top-right is a small drop-down menu with three options: suspend, restart, and shut down. The first several times, it didn't have suspend, but then the time that I unplugged everything (external hard drive, mouse, empty micro-SD-to-USB, micro-SD-to-SD with a micro SD card in it) and then it gained the suspend option apparently permanently even if I plug everything back in for the next reboot. The rest of the screen is black. Clicking anywhere but the tiny menu and the changing text does nothing. Typing my password and hitting enter (despite the lack of anywhere to type it into) does nothing. All I can do is shut down.
That's all I can think of that might mean anything! Did Inkscape ruin my computer? Is NetworkManager banning me from booting? Is my OS doomed? I have access to someone else's computer to make a new install, but I'm afraid of losing all of my data. I have a partition set up specially for /home, so hopefully everything will stay put, but I don't know. What if some of my data isn't even in /home? What if the /home partition doesn't work? I haven't been able to use another computer yet (this one has no working USB ports, so I can't make a USB install. It has a working CD drive, but the no-boot computer does not. So it's impossible.), so I'm hoping to just be able to fix it somehow.