This question is related more to a server side error such as a timeout or a database not being reached rather than a user error or validation problem.
Let's say we have a web page which pulls data from 2 different sources, such as a network database and a web service. If one data source cannot be reached we display an error message to the user and still display the data from the other data source. However, if neither cannot be reached how should this information be displayed to the user? Should both error messages be displayed or should one be shown and only show the other when the first is resolved?
Alternatively we could display a single error message explaining that neither data source could be reached (a more user friendly message of course).
In form fields when validation has failed all the fields that have failed are usually displayed to the user so they can all be fixed in the next try. But this is arguably still one error since it relates to a validation fail on the form submit, and it's a user mistake some of the time.
Since the errors described above could be entirely unrelated the should be treated as 2 separate issues and will be from the point of view of server side code. Which approach is more beneficial for a user and which is likely to cause less panic?