Now that Husse helped me get back to Mint after Mandriva's hostile taqkeover of the grub, I can continue trying to solve some problems. I've got two major problems, and I don't know if they're connected.
First thing is shutdown. when I quit>shut down i see the splash screen, the green bar is gradually disappearing, and then I get a black screen and the computer stays like this. Both Mandriva and XP managed to shut down this computer. Also, when I tried the "shutdown" command from the terminal on MInt (i don't remember exactly what I used but it was something like "shutdown -h now" , the computer turned-off completely. I tried to solve this problem by adding some lines to menu.lst according to some earlier threads, but everytime I got wierd results. I'd appreciate it if someone would guide me in understanding exactly what kind of hardware configuration I have on this machine, and what do I need to do in order to solve my problem.
The second problem is the very long time it takes between grub and the loggin screen - I don't get the splash screen on start-up. it takes about 5 minutes of black screen to get to the loggin screen.
Again, I don't know weather or not the two problems are connected. I'd appreciate a step-by-step help from someone in this wonderful community