Well, I fixed the problem, but not through Red Hat.
I know this is a Red Hat forum, so I won't go evangelizing another distro, but the long and the short of it is that I wanted installed MEPIS, a Debian-based, bootable CD-type distro in the vein of Knoppix (but with a better install to HD). [mepis.org]
The install of RH9 was all wrong, you're correct. The problem may have been that my computer overheated in the middle of it.
I forgot to plug in my floppy drive, which connected power to the fan. I thought I took care of this *before* the RH install, but I can't remember--I was tired that night!
Anyway, thanks for the replies.