To make a ubuntu cd-rom, go to www.ubuntu.com get the LTS 10.10.10 i386 version and burn a cd-rom from the downloaded ISO file.
Alternatively, go to Pendrivelinux.com and download the pendrive utility and make a ubuntu 10.10.10 bootable 1gb thumb drive to boot from.
boot from either, click try ubuntu
click system, administration, disk utility
click on the drive you are worried about and open it full screen and look at the smart status, or click on smart data to see the details.