Dear doughyi8u, given yours answers 2) and 3) in your post #22, I won't investigate further.
My best advise would be that you first follow very carefully this how-to
, making sure you understand the purpose and effect of each and every command before you type it.
I would be tempted to even go further and advise you, for this first attempt to follow the how-to, not to customize anything in the new kernel, in other words do not even run "make xconfig" or "make menuconfig" after "make oldconfig" *but* do create an initrd.
Only when you will have done that successfully once you could try to configure your kernel further.
But even then be very careful that:
(1) there be a real rationale for any change you make
(2) you read and understand fully the help text corresponding to any change you make
(3) you be absolutely sure that that change can't have odd consequences
For that, at the very least you should type "lsmod" and "lspci -k" before proceeding and make sure you won't remove any driver or module listed in the output of one of theses commands.