I have a Sony Vaio SVE1712BCXB laptop. Recently I've been considering upgrading the ram and hdd. I would like to know: if I purchase a new SSD and install Windows 7 Professional on it, would it still function properly with the hardware on the laptop? The system came with Windows 8 and I'm guessing the current HDD is partitioned to a certain format.
You would need to install the Windows 7 64-bit drivers from Sony (http://esupport.sony.com/US/p/model-home.pl?mdl=SVE1712...) for the hardware to function properly after you install Windows 7. There are no Windows 32-bit drivers available for that model but that shouldn't be an issue if you are going to use a 64-bit version of Windows 7.
Yeah, I will be installing a 64-bit Windows 7. I've just been reading around that many sony models tried to downgrade their windows from 8 to 7 and they experienced a lot of issues with their drivers and bios setting. At some points, the battery was not even recognized. I'm just thinking if I'll have issues with this as well and if these drivers will be compatible with windows 7 or if they were originally designed to only work with Windows 8.
Battery information was an OS specific issue that plagued Windows Vista and Windows 7. As long as your battery is good, you shouldn't need to worry. While the link ken provided has legitimate Win 7 drivers, I don't know of any specific instability with them.
You may need to disable UEFI/enable CSM/Legacy and disable Secure Boot when installing Windows 7. You may also need to convert the SSD to a MBR disk prior to installing Windows 7 if you have to make said changes to BIOS settings as well.