A fully featured distro that hardly uses any more resources, just a bit more on the drive. In that case, if you're performing advanced partitioning, make the root partition larger, /home doesn't need to be very large, as long as a lot of items aren't going to be stored. On the Linux Mint 18.2 version setup for my wife, although I'm the admin, being a dual boot with Windows 8.1 on a 180 GiB SSD. gave /root 20GiB, Linux Swap 1GiB, and /home about 11GiB. Made the right decision because while root is half full (why I'd give it 40GiB on a larger SSD), /home is using only 4% of it's allocated space, so if I have to reinstall, will adjust partition sizes (24GiB for root & just over 7GiB for /home). On a SSD, more freespace matters, keeping the partition using the most space is of high priority.
One thing that mat be worth considering, being you're low on drive space, get a 32GiB USB stick, remove your internal drive so that the Grub bootloader doesn't overwrite the XP one, and install Linux Mint on that, would be plenty of room. You don't have to perform advanced partitioning if not comfortable (although you should eventually learn ), use the option to install Linux Mint 17.3 on the entire USB stick & update, then shut down computer & reinstall the XP drive. When desired, plug the USB stick in & boot from it, yet don't perform any operations that requires that Grub be updated with the drive in place. Examples are updates to Grub itself or kernel updates that'll automatically perform the operation. Fortunately, you're in control of updates, so can remove the internal drive when these updates are needed, for that matter, can avoid Grub upgrades, and I don't expect newer kernels for Mint 17.3 with less than 18 months of support remaining.
Mint 17.3 should run w/out troubles on your hardware, the configuration is very similar to my IBM T42 ThinkPad. Have you tried a new install to see how things goes? Or better yet, the USB stick option, which I'd do with a small HDD, Mint will actually run faster on the USB stick, as long as it's at least 16GiB, although at today's price point, 32GiB is a better deal, double the space for just a little more cash. Today, unless for an installer, wouldn't consider any USB stick (or SDHC card) under 32GB in size.
RJ, what exactly is the issue with your install? We may be able to assist if you provide more details, like telling us what's not working. Note that network issues can be complex, and may not be the fault of the hardware, unless a dated wireless card that Mint doesn't provide drivers for any longer. We've successfully assisted members to get over the hump with this issue more times than I can count, provided that the network itself (modem & router) is healthy.
Also, in order to provide you the best possible assistance, you need to hang around with your Topic, dropping in & out every few months or weeks doesn't help. Sticking to the matter & answering replies ASAP will help, while we realize that you can't be here 24/7 (neither can the rest of us), when there's an issue, you need to have & display a sense of urgency to get to the bottom of matters.
We look forward to your reply, hopefully sooner rather than later, with more detail of your main issue that was last mentioned, or describe to the best of your ability. Trust me, whatever your issue is, it's likely already been asked & addressed hundreds of times by others over time.
Edited by cat1092, 01 November 2017 - 05:52 AM.