different kernels, and different driver modules. . the two won't interchange !
I use smxi
to install the latest nvidia drivers on my LMDE testbox, and they state:
smxi is an interactive script designed to help people maintain their systems. It supports Debian (Stable, Testing, and Sid) and true Debian based distros (sidux, AntiX, Mepis). It does not support Ubuntu based distros because there are too many differences between Debian and Ubuntu.
BUT . . you may want to look at sgfxi
(little farther down the smxi page above) . . . I've no experience with it ? . .
The primary purpose of sgfxi is to install non-free graphics drivers. It also supports removing non-free graphics drivers and replacing them with the free version. To do this it cleans out the system of any previous drivers, then installs the latest versions of the driver you have requested.
Support for Ubuntu and Arch Linux has been added to sgfxi, so now it should work in most areas in Debian, Ubuntu, and Arch.
good luck, richy