It all depends (don't ya love it).
From personal experience with 2 distributions, Debian wanted to know everything including what interrupt and memory port my network card was on, while Redhat detected most of this stuff.
In any case, you absolutely will need partition information and drive information such as which drive is which on your IDE chain. This can be simple - a single hard drive system with a single IDE CD drive will have the hard drive as hda and the cd as hdb. Partitions are then numbered from there - your windows partition will be hda1, and then you will make space for linux partitions hda2-hda4 or so (boot, root, and swap).
It will be very helpful if you know what kind of sound card you have and the addresses/interrupts it uses, what kind of video card and how much memory it has, and any other unusual hardware configurations. Often you can guess a bit with the monitor, though more recent installers will give a list of popular monitors and let you pick yours (ala Win).
You can find out a lot of this by opening (in Win) Control Panel, choosing System, Devices, and then clicking on a device (your sound card, for example) then clicking Properties, and looking at the Resources used.
A tip - if you have problems, turn off Plug N Play on the mother board using the mother board setup. Linux does not play well with plug n play.