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[tlug] Reinstallation and partitions (Mint)

Good afternoon
Since I could not figure out, how to return my installation to its normal state, I decided to reinstall. Yesterday night I started, but in the middle of the process remembered, that somebody on the now gone Mint mailing list recommended creating custom partitions for /root, swap etc.

On the net, somewhere it said (several versions earlier) something like 30 GB for /root and
maybe 4-5 GB for swap is OK.

Is there any consensus about these sizes? In particular the /root partition.
Since I have a 500 GB HDD with plenty of room to spare ...

One other thing.
No other computer / OS ever did/does this:
after a clean installation from DVD, I get a number of messages, but the compute DOES NOT reboot:

"Install complete -> restart computer
Error: broadcast from root@mint
        unknown@ 16:2c

The system is going down for reboot now
nm-dispatcher action: Could not acquire the org.freedesktop.nm-dispatcher service
Disconnected from D-bus

The screen - black with something like the above in the left upper corner - just sits there and does not do anything further.
No keyboard input (e.g. Ctrl+Alt+Del) I tried did anything.
The ONLY way I could find to keep going, it shutting down the power. After that, things seem to proceed "normally". This happens EVERY time (tried already several times on different computers) and it happened with Mint 17 first and now a fresh download of Mint 17.1 burnt to a different disk.

Is this normal?

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