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Compiling kernel - problems

I'm running Debian woody on a Pentium machine, installed from DVD and using kernel vmlinuz-2.4.18-bf2.4.
I'm trying to play around with different kernel settings, so I thought I start by recompiling this one.  I installed kernel-package and kernel-source-2.4.18.
I go to directory /usr/src/kernel-source-2.4.18, and then follow the instructions in various Debian documents.  First one is "make dep".  This results in some errors which relate to hdc (my cdrom) the first one being:
hdc: read_intr: status=0x59 {DriveReady SeekComplete DataRequest Error}
followed by various others and then the program exits with "Error 135".
What am I doing wrong?
- C

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