Wow. That must be one of only a few surviving Packard Bells.
How much RAM does it have? I don't know about Mandrake 8, but 9.1 had KDE 2.x as the desktop. IIRC, the requirements were ~100-120MHz with 16MB RAM. It could be that your PC doesn't meet the requirements for the gui and falling back to something like FVWM or twm that might "look funny" at first.
Check which gui it's trying to use and then make sure your system meets the requirements for it.