I installed Mint 17 on an older desktop and everything is OK, but the start menu is not being rendered correctly. It either does not appear at all when you click on it, or it appears empty (no icons). The whole toolbar is also not appearing, it's almost 100% transparent and the icons (or the clock for that mater) are not showing I logged out and logged back in with XFCE and the menu works fine. I tried re-installing Cinnamon but that did not fix it. Is there any way to fix this? Alternatively, can I install the old XFCE theme (have it look like the old Mint 10 desktop) ?
well... i guess this is because your older hardware may not have 3d-acceleration, so desktop environments like Cinnamon, Gnome or Unity won't work.
but you can install and use MATE, Xfce, LXDE, etc. without any problem.
if you want a desktop looking like your posted picture, why you don't install the MATE-edition?