I'm attempting to install Linux Mint 13.0 on my old HP laptop running winows vista. I've downloaded the .iso and flashed a 4gig usb stick using:

universal usb installer

I can boot to it fine, but when I go to install linux the display kinks up. there's vertical partitions where it seems to repeat itself, and the mouse only works in certain portions. I've tried just using the keyboard to navigate through the installation, but the resolution prevents me from seeing the whole screen.

If i navigate to "compatibility mode" when it first loads I get a blank blue screen (calm and pleasing blue, not the panicked and loud blue-screen-of-death color) with a cut-off/partitioned warning message over it. I can make out about half of what it says

"Failed to start the X server (your graphiaphhical interface). It is likely that it is not not set up correctly. Would you like to view the X....
and then it cuts off again LOL.

what is going on?