If you ask me, it sounds like you're using an unaccelerated video driver.
Having some idea what the video card/chipset used in the computer would make it easier to figure out how to proceed.
I recently purchased a new computer (finally!) to replace my virus-infested, Windows 98-running one. It's an HP and it's great!
I was going to throw my old computer out, but then I realized, "Hey, I can make this thing top of the line by downloading Linux!" Well, I downloaded Linux and got it to run fine on the old computer, but I don't think the graphics card is powerful enough to handle the 32-bit interface on it. This is what is happening:
-Most of the icons will not show unless I mouse over them
-Parts of old windows often remain on other once after being closed
-Mouse often trails and is followed by copies of itself
-Pictures and entire webpages have a horizontal barcode-like look when loaded or scrolled through quickly
Could someone please tell me if this sounds like a graphics card that isn't powerful enough or something else? Remember, this computer is old (it has a 700MHz processor, a 256MB cache, an old graphics card, and an old motherboard).