Re: Persistent drive issue
It is difficult to figure out what could cause that because the kernel and video drivers load from a fixed squashfs compressed file system before persistent data is even mounted.
I know that there used to be an issue with Mint (not sure if there still is) if you did an actual installation to a USB device or drive, because they had grub use the actual drive device it was installed on instead of UUID (or can be an issue with grub in some Ubuntu versions). But that should not be an issue for install iso on USB, because that figures everything out on the fly during boot.
A 64-bit Ubuntu 11.10 iso on USB stick with persistent data that I used to install on an Intel i5 (4 virtual core) works as well booting an early AMD Athlon64 3200+ (1 core), Intel dual 1.66 GHz laptop, or tablet PC with AMD C-50 dual 1 GHz CPU. It remembers the timezone and wireless security settings, regardless of different wireless chips, and works regardless of which drive it ends up as. My 11.10 iso on USB was created with the Startup Disk Creator in Ubuntu 10.10, which should work as well for Ubuntu derived Mint.
i5 650 3.2 GHz, 8 GB, nvidia GTX 750 Ti, 32" 1080p | i7-4700MQ, 8 GB, Intel HD 4600/nvidia GTX 765M, 15.6" 1080p | etc.