I gotta keep on trying. I have installed kernel 2.4.19. I am compiling for AMD Duron. First of all, I had to reboot twice during a compile! this caused no end of problems. Once I had installed the kernel, the system froze on me again!
Since then, I have had no problems. I've been able to sustain several reboots without incident.
Lets just hope that I've got the thing all set up!
People have been landing here from search engines, so I thought I'd update this article with some of what I've learned.
I'm still dealing with this problem, but I think that my problem is a hardware reliability issue, and not a kernel problem any more.
But, here's what people know...
1) Duron mobo's that have AGP interfaces are subject to reliability problems.
To fix this, compile the kernel with no AGP support. I'm not using these machines as desktop boxes anyway - they are web servers and database servers... (ugghhh - enough said.)
In your lilo.conf, put the line:
in the config for you default kernel, run lilo and reboot.