so, i read about mint4win, and it sounded great. it made me want to test it, and since my only windows installation is my xp inside Vb, i decided to give it a try - and here are the results. this is for fun only, but if it helps someone, even better. the only thing i discovered that didn't work was screen resolution, only got options of 800x600 or 640xsomething.
everything else worked including the wireless out of the box.
great job merlwiz.