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Kernel Recompile

Please notify me if I am using the wrong subscription.
I am attempting to figure out how to recompile my Kernel.  I am running Corel Linux (Debian) on a MSDos partition.  I have found alot of Documentation as to how to do this, but I don't have enough experience to know whether or not dselect will re compile the kenel in the sense that I am attempting, or if it is just mainly used for compiling on a system that one is building from scratch.  Also, there is the issue of handling the boot process.  Lilo is not used (I am pretty sure) for booting.  Instead a .bat file is used, which calls loadlin with the following line: loadlin vmlinuz root=/dev/loop1 initrd=initrd.gz.  Can  a recompile be done on a DOS partition, and if so will it still allow me to boot?  Corel has unfortunately been remiss in their documentation, for good excuse or bad.
Please excuse for the gnubiness of the questions, all documentation for Linux is incomplete, but beginners are even at a more pronounced disadvantage.  I have reinstalled Linux 5 times because of my inexperience (in less than that many days) and Windows once, during this process.  I don't want to make any more false moves :)
Going to back up fstab while I wait for a response...
thank you in advance,
Matthew G. Leeds

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