Thanks glenn4uk, i appreciate that advice. Things are warm Down-under - i shelter by my air conditioner as i type this!
I do have plenty of back -up available so that would appear to be the way to go. Theres my weekend - will be sad to see 10.04 go - it has served me well.
An idea just occurred to me - could i substitute the fstab file from the current desktop system - replace the cloned one from the laptop? After all, it all ready lists where everything is and lists the other (windows) drives connected in the same box too. An organ transfer, if you will. Would it be compatible, do you think?
PS Looks like your' winter is pretty crap over there...