I tried to install Mint 13 on an ancient PC with a Geforce 6200 graphics card.
It didn't work.
The symptom was that Cinnamon would be missing all panels and the window borders were missing. All that was visible on the desktop was the wallpaper and default icons.
It was possible to right-click the desktop and open a shell.
I then installed Mate desktop which worked, but was horribly slow.
I determined that the problem was with the nvidia-current driver, and that for the older 6200 adapter I needed to use the legacy nvidia 173 driver.
I couldn't install that due to an unresolvable dependency error. AAARGH!
I downloaded the binary from the nvidia website but that refused to build the kernel modules without providing any useful error feedback. AAAARGH again!
Eventually I found some clues on the 'net suggesting downgrading to the version of X from oneiric repository.
This is how you do that.
Add this repository to your sources list file.
deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ oneiric main
Edit your apt preferences file;
# vi /etc/apt/preferences
Add a section as follows;
Package: xorg xserver-xorg*
Pin: release a=oneiric
This will instruct your package manager to always use the oneiric repository for xorg and xserver* packages
Update your sources and do an upgrade;
apt-get update &&
Explicitly install the x server packages along with the nvidia-173 legacy package.
sudo apt-get install xorg xserver-xorg-input-all xserver-xorg-video-all nvidia-173 nvidia-settings
Update: If you take a look at which driver you using in the "Additional Drivers" utility it may report that "This driver is activated but not currently in use". This is an error in jockey which is not reporting the driver status properly.