I have an unusual suggestion for you. Since you acquired this notebook from someone else and don't really know its' history, and you want to get rid of Windows, I would zero the drive. There is really no telling what is on the drive.
There are a couple viruses/worms, at least, that use the mbr/partition table, are very tenacious, and that formatting can't get rid of. I once worked on an XP machine and set up a dual boot for him. After about two weeks it would quit booting, and show a corrupted partition table. I reformatted and reloaded the OS's 3 times before I figured it out.
Part of the virus, at least the one that I encountered, was located in a "hole" in the XP code. That's to say that if you had a blank drive and you had a small amount of code placed on just the right places on the drive, and then you loaded Windows XP on top of it the 1's and 0's of the original code would not be disturbed. Formatting and partitioning doesn't erase the drive, It just sets up the partition and file system tables.
This particular infection put a "stub" in the partition table that activated the code when the machine booted into Windows, it's own little boot loader you might say. Windows apparently had some of the virus code in it also. When I partitioned and installed Linux, it over wrote the stub. After Windows was booted a certain number of times the virus would rewrite the stub to the partition table. That in turn corrupted the partition table and neither Grub nor the Windows loader would work, once again.
There may be, and probably are, some commercial Windows programs that can find and fix this problem, but the only way I know to get rid of it for sure is to use the "dd" command and Zero the drive. This, of course, destroys all the information on the drive, including the mbr and partition table.
To do this, use a Linux live cd like Knoppix, DSL, or I prefer, Puppy Linux. With the hard drive in question mounted, open a terminal and sudo or as root, depending on the linux live cd involved, type:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hdx or sdx
Be careful with this. This process is irreversible and unrecoverable. All data on the drive will be destroyed.
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.
Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.