How to Fix This
I had the same problem. And a similar system: a brand new Celeron D server. I spent a weekend reading everything about "kernel panic: attempted to kill init!" I read well over 100 posts. I used my CDs to successfully install RH9 on a stupid Win98 Packard Bell machine. I made various GRUB changes on my server, messed with Linux Rescue, and rebooted constantly. By Monday morning, I thought my name was Kernel Panic.
You'll have no definitive answers on this, because there aren't any out there. You can recompile your kernel if it makes you feel good. But it comes down to this: Red Hat 9, as distributed, is old. Your fancy new motherboard, she can't handle it.
I went out and got Fedora Core 3. Installed it, and the thing booted right up. Do this, and you may find the happiness that I found.
Jason "Kernel Panic" Justian