OK, Here's the revised edition. Updated to reflect the latest kernel at this time (184.108.40.206) and removed the "make mrproper" command since it was wiping out the old config and causing big issues.
Also some info on "make menuconfig".
tar -zxf linux-220.127.116.11.tar.gz
cp /boot/config-2.6.9-22.0.2.EL .config
make clean (only necessary if you compile more than once)
keep hitting enter and take the defaults until you get to the CPU type. Select your CPU. Also in the SMP section select SMP if you have multiple CPUs. Oh, and select "(No Forced Preemption (server))" under that section. Everything else, just hit enter to take the defaults.
(this is the "quick and dirty" method. You can also run "make menuconfig" instead, go to the bottom of the menu, load your old config file, and then select everything in a menu individually if you wish. For most systems, the "make oldconfig" method works fine.)
Then to compile and install:
Then to configure your boot loader in case of disaster:
title CentOS (18.104.22.168)
kernel /vmlinuz-22.214.171.124 ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
title CentOS (2.6.9-22.0.2.EL)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.9-22.0.2.EL ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
title CentOS_ServerCD (2.6.9-22.EL)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.9-22.EL ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
..make sure it looks something like this with default=1 and the new kernel (126.96.36.199) on top. (Grub starts at 0, so "default=1" is still your old kernel. You change this later if it works out ok)
..then configure grub to boot to the new kernel one time. This way if it panicks or you can't get to the machine because the network service blows up, you can have the data center do a reboot and it will default back to the last kernel. If it does boot ok and everything looks good, edit grub.conf again and change it to "default=0" and it will boot the new kernel by default after that.
savedefault --default=0 --once
Reboot and see what happens. If it hangs, reboot again and you'll be back to your previous kernel.