Sounds like this drive has been around a bit. Maybe a good idea to start a fresh with that hard drive. Put that HDD into the PC you wish to use it in and make dead sure you have no other HDD's attached. Get yourself a blank cd and download the ISO of D-Ban
And then burn with software like cd-burner xp and then boot to that cd and type in "autonuke" or "quick" and walk away till its completed.
I dont use Ubunto, but i would imagine that when you install Ubunto it will also format the drive as required.