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Installation Process

The RevoDrive Hybrid can only be used as a primary boot drive at this point. Dataplex will only select C: as the primary storage drive, while any others can be set as the cache drive.

In order for Windows installer to detect the RevoDrive Hybrid, you must supply the correct drivers, which can be downloaded through OCZ's site and loaded onto a USB drive. This is a bit of an inconvenience but it ensures you'll always have the latest driver when installing Windows on the RevoDrive Hybrid.

Be aware that when installing Windows -- Windows 7 in our case -- the installation takes a while because of the slow 5400RPM drive. This is only a temporary hindrance. Once installed, you can load the Dataplex software and enable the caching feature, drastically improving the performance of the RevoDrive Hybrid.

As mentioned earlier, the Dataplex software is required to enable the caching feature and the RevoDrive Hybrid ships with a onetime use product key that will be rendered invalid unless uninstalled prior to any major hardware changes, for example motherboard change.

In fact, the Dataplex software monitors network controllers, memory configurations, operating system, primary boot drive, CPU and BIOS for any changes. If two or more of these components are changed the key becomes inactive and the user is forced to contact the OCZ tech support for a manual reset.

This is a painful reality for OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid owners, and I must admit that it has spoiled my enthusiasm for this product.

Before benchmarking the RevoDrive Hybrid, we decided to test how fussy the software is regarding hardware changes. RAM is one of the most commonly upgraded components in my computer, so we swapped out a pair of 2GB sticks for two 4GB sticks and then disabled one network controller and enabled another.

Having booted back into Windows everything seemed fine, but after about 10 minutes a popup message said the license was in use by another computer. We uninstalled the Dataplex software and attempted to reinstall it after a mandatory reset.

However, because we didn't uninstall Dataplex before the hardware changes, we couldn't reinstall the software using the same key. After acquiring a new key from OCZ, we were able to reinstall the Dataplex program and continue benchmarking. We were again hit with the "license is in use by another computer" error after running a number of Windows 7 updates.

Overall, the installation process is very easy and once installed, the Dataplex software need never be opened again -- unless you wish to make any hardware changes, of course.