I'm also a newbie, but recompiled my kernel a couple of times by now. Don't kow if this is the best wa, but it worked for me - the general way to go is:
install the kernel sources if you don't have already. This is a package called something like "kernel-sources.....rpm" or "kernel-sources....tar.gz" The sources should then be in a directory similar to
/usr/src/linux/ (in SuSE, this is a link to the real place where the directory is, don't know about red hat - will know soon, I'll install it soon in my PC)
Now go to that directory. At first, look at your options for compiling. Type:
You should get a screen full of options. One of them should be "old config", this is to compile with your present configuration. Type
It takes a while spitting stuff out, you have to wait. IMPORTANT: DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER WHEN THIS IS FINISHED (That's the reason I will be installing red hat... I smashed my SuSE by doing that)
Now recompile the kernel. In the help it should have shown you what it does when you type "make", it should include the "make make_modules".
Take a coffee, some tea, a beer, watch "The Simpsons" on TV, whatever...it takes quite a while.
So, Now you have to install the services. Type:
You should be done now. (think so) Any gurus to help further?