When you bootup the pc from the Ubuntu ISO cd, you will be given the options to run Ubuntu from the cd or to install Ubuntu. I would recommend a quick trial running Ubuntu from the cd (referred to as running Ubuntu Live) as this should demonstrate that your hardware is compatible.
When you select the install option you are again running Ubuntu Live for the install process. One of the software packages included is GParted, a partition manager. This will handle the formatting of the drive.
Ubuntu makes a guess at how you want the operating system configured. As you are installing Ubuntu on a new disc, the default option for partitioning will probably be to use the whole disc for Ubuntu. This option should be OK for your situation.
Ubuntu's install process is very simple and intuitive with the only complicated part being partitioning if you are wanting to dual boot (i.e have the option at boot of selecting different operating systems). If you are doing this with an Windows already installed, read carefully a HowTo on the subject and ensure you perform a back-up of all your data.