Do you need to know the type of hard drive in your laptop before opening the device? Well, most newer laptops (since Windows Vista) uses 2.5 inch SATA drives while older Windows OS laptops uses 44-pin IDE drives.
Since Operating Systems can be upgraded or replaced, it is best to flip over the laptop and look for the genuine Microsoft sticker for the OS that shipped with the unit. If the sticker shows that it is a Windows XP laptop, the internal drive will either be a SATA or IDE drive.
In the future, to gain speed and longevity, laptops will use SSD technology and will be the size if a memory stick.