Ubuntu not loading 500g "MyBook"

Howdy! Just a heads up, I am very new to Linux. I've been meaning to install it for years (first tried mandrake) but this is the first package that I've been able to install by myself. So my question is, I have a 500g Western Digital MyBook Essential  external USB harddrive.I am used to Windows auto loading any usb devices I have hooked up. But after starting the computer, it does not recognise the device right off. I have to unplug the USB cable, wait for the harddrive to completely shut off, then plug it back it. I have to do this each time I log in/out or turn the computer on/off. Which is unfortunate because I  had intended to use this drive often and it kind of defeats the convience of it.So, any ideas as to how to get it automatically loaded upon boot or login (and also how to get the icon off my workspace while it is loaded) would be greatly appreciated.Thanks in advance,-Josh