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Distribution: Slack Puppy Debian DSL--at the moment.
If you use the ls -Al (L) you will see that vmlinuz is a link to the full name of the kernel. This means that when you update your kernel, you can always have the newest one as the default by changing the link.
My machine has every kernel I have ever played with still on it because I have been too lazy to clean it up. The deal is; in an emergency, you just have to point to vmlinuz from the command-line and the link is to be to the last working kernel. Of course that isn't how redhat does it. (It always does the link to the newest kernel--which may be the one which was hosed up.)
I may be mistaken, I go with what I know. Things may have changed when I wasn't looking.
I really did have trouble with removable drives. Maybe it was that I had cheap ones.