Hello everyone. This is my first thread. Although I've installed and used Ubuntu successfully on systems before, I'm still a noob. Here's the deal...

I recently built a laptop by combining two identical HP laptops which had various problems. These laptops were purchased in 2007 and wasting away in a closet and had not been used in about 2 years. One hard drive was virus ridden and got wiped to use as an external storage device. The other has Vista installed, which works but it's very slow.

We're planning to give this laptop to my grandfather to use solely to check his stocks online at the local public library. I thought Linux would be perfect for this primarily because of the speedy boot times and security it provides.

Unfortunately, I am unable to install Linux on this computer. Whenever I try, the screen glitches horribly and freezes. It looks like one of those Magic Eye pictures where you relax your eyes and a 3D image pops out. This visual glitching always happens when I'm asked to choose the time zone or the username and password for the system. I've tried to install at least six times now and it happens every time.

This has happened with Ubuntu 12.10 using both a DVD and USB to try to install, as well as 12.04 LTS via USB.
Here are the specs for the computer:

HP dv2415nr (purchased appx 2007)
AMD Turion 64 x2 processor
nVidia Geforce 6150 video card
1G RAM (2 512 RAM sticks)
Currently (slowly) running Vista Service Pack 2 (takes a couple minutes to boot up and freezes up occasionally. I've recently defragged and run Ccleaner but it's still slow and it's still Vista).

I would like to know if it's a problem with my particular hardware or the particular versions of Ubuntu I'm trying to install. I've read online that it may be both.

I'm considering trying to install a previous version of Ubuntu, (11.10 perhaps) because I had this problem on a different HP laptop when I tried to install 12.10 on it. I was able to install 12.04 on that laptop. I don't know how I got that one to work.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.