The Shuttle PC K4500 had a lot of unfamiliar hardware on it when I first bought it. The most critical part being the SATA drivers.
00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GB/GR/GH (ICH7 Family) SATA IDE Controller (rev 01)
The pertinent option in menuconfig was to enable “Intel ESB, ICH, PIIX3, PIIX4 PATA/SATA Support” in the SATA drivers section. Important! In order for the kernel to boot, this driver must be built in or you won’t be able to mount your filesystems.
Networking is another critical component since I do nearly all of my work over SSH.
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88E8056 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 12)
The driver is called sky2. The entry in menuconfig is “SysKonnect Yukon2 support”. You have the choice to either build the driver in or modularize it. I should say that when I’m building a new config I execute “make defconfig” to create a base config that I edit later. So there might be other critical options that I don’t mention because they are enabled by default in defconfig.