Watching this thread with interest. Couple of comments.
I never had good experience with Virtual Box. Installed about a year ago and had nothing but troubles. Ditched it in favor of VMplayer and have never looked back.
This morning did exactly what Owen is trying to do only using VMplayer, took all of 10 minutes.
Actually went by this http://theksmith.com/technolog.....l-machine/ even though it's not that current.
1 gig ram is what VMplayer gives by default and it works fine.
Display has accelerated 3D graphics checked and uses host monitor settings by default.
Defaults to 20gig hard disk, I chose store in a single file, of which VMplayer says only 2.6 meg is being used. This is probably because this isn't really an installation of Mint, it is only running the Live CD so there is no persistence and nothing being saved.
Every time this VM is booted I get similar screen to you saying "SMBus not enabled" shows for a few seconds then things just carry on and all is well.
Don't know if that Linux 2.6 means anything in the original post but the kernel is 3.2 something.
SATA 8 gig? Is that an amount you selected somewhere in the setup?
Also wonder about that PAE/NX, doesn't that have something to do with 32 bit systems and more than 4 gig of ram? Wouldn't think that's nessecary when only using 1 gig.
Maybe (or maybe not) some of this info will be of use. Just thought I'd put it out there.
EDIT: Owen, you don't say what the host system is.