Re: kernel without smp
You don't need to cerate a debian package.
You can go with the kernel.org standard, and spare some headache.
Now flame me, debiaños |-)
Also, try without initrd, if possible.
make menuconfig (configure an extraversion string like 'myfirst')
make modules_install install
If anything went fine, look into /boot and understand.
Then add an entry to /boot/grub/menu.lst.
It's no bad idea to boot untested custom kernels into 'init' single user
first, you can remove that option later.
title ___________ test
kernel (hd0,0)/vmlinuz-test root=/dev/hda6 ro single
(that's for '/' on /dev/hda6)
ps. you don't need a huge bunch of the stuff configured in preconfigured
kernelimages, maybe you find a better .config somewhere in the net.
pps. If you installed 'external' modules (not in the kerneldource-tree)
make sure /usr/src/modules contains the most recent version,
before you compile the kernel: Either delete /usr/src/moldules completely
and uncompress the tarballs of the modules packages (placed in /usr/src)
to restore /usr/src/modules again. Or use module-assistant for anything.