Ditto - Frequently Asked Questions

The Ditto - Frequently Asked Questions

Sold by Nevada Technical Associates, Inc.


Ditto frequently asked questions. This information is based on information from Iomega and other sources.

1. Is there a SCSI version of the Ditto tape drive? No.

2. Is the Ditto tape drive compatible with the Macintosh? No, it is compatible with PC type computers.

3. Which operating systems work with the Ditto tape drives ? Ditto Tools is fully compatible with Windows 95, Windows 3.1x and MS-DOS 5.x or higher.

4. Can I use the Ditto drives with Windows NT? Until recently, that was not possible, but drivers are now available for download from Beverly Hills Software for this purpose. The link to that site is given at several locations on this web site.

5. Do I need a Ditto Dash accelerator card? Possibly. In some cases the Ditto Dash will enhance performance. The Ditto Dash accelerator card is included with all Easy 3200 internal tape drives. It is normally not included with other Ditto models. The Ditto Dash will enhance the performance of the 800 internal tape drive connected to a 500Kb/sec controller card (if connected to a 1 or 2Mb/sec. card, there will be no performance increase). The Ditto 2GB tape drive will require a Ditto Dash accelerator card if the Floppy Disk Controller is 500Kb/sec.

6. What are the system requirements for the backup software? Windows: 4MB of RAM, 4MB of hard disk space Windows 3.1x or higher. DOS: 540K free conventional memory, 3MB of hard disk space, MS-DOS 5.x or higher.

7. Will the Ditto tape drive work on my network? The backup software is network compatible with Novell and Lantastic. Supervisor or equivalent rights are required to backup the network bindery.

8. What models of the Ditto tape drive are available? The Ditto Easy 800, Ditto 2GB and the Ditto Easy 3200 tape drives are available in either the parallel port or internal version. The Ditto Easy 800 will store 800MB of data (compressed), the Ditto 2GB will store 2GB of data (compressed) and the Ditto Easy 3200 will store 3200MB of data (compressed).

9. What is included with the Ditto Tape Drives? The Parallel port tape drive includes the tape drive; power supply; parallel port cable; backup software, compatible with MS-DOS, Windows 3.1x and Windows 95; and online user's guide. The Internal tape drive includes the tape drive; data-Y cable; backup software, compatible with MS-DOS, Windows 3.1x and Windows 95; and online user's guide (the internal 3200 includes a Ditto Dash Accelerator card). In comparing prices, be sure to consider whether a tape is included or not.

10. What transfer rate can I expect during backup and restoring? The transfer rate of the tape drive will vary with each system. The operating system, the controller card the tape drive is connected to and the processor of the computer will affect the transfer rate. On an average system, the Easy 800 and Ditto 2GB tape drives will have a transfer rate between 5-6 MB/min., the Easy 3200 between 9-10 MB/min. The transfer rate may be lower in Windows).

11. What are some of the features of the backup software? The One-Step backup software allows you to backup your stuff in one easy step. You can schedule unattended backups, backup removable media, perform incremental or differential backups, backup compressed drives, and backup or restore individual files or directories.

12. What is the difference between the Ditto Easy and Ditto drives? The Ditto Easy tape drives have a new quieter case design.

13. What tapes will work in my tape drive? The 800 tape drives can use any QIC 80 tapes. The Ditto 2GB tape drive can use the Iomega 2GB tapes The 3200 tape drive can use any QIC 3020 tapes.

14. Can I install my Ditto backup software on my other computers? With the Parallel port tape drive, the backup software can be installed on any computer the tape drive will be connected to. With the internal tape drive, the backup software can be installed on the computer the tape drive is installed to.

15. Can I run applications off of my Ditto tape drive? No, the tape drive, reads data sequentially and therefore is useful only for backup.

16. What is the expected shelf life of a tape cartridge? Under normal use, the tape shelf life is indefinite. Over time, the tape will degrade and may require re-formatting or retensioning.

17. What other devices can I have on the parallel port besides my Ditto drive? The tape drive must be connected directly to the parallel port of the computer. There is a printer pass-through feature that allows you to use both your Ditto drive and your printer.

18. Why does it take so long to format a tape? Unlike random-access devices, tape drives are sequential-access devices requiring more access time. Ditto drives are formatting the equivalent of hundreds 1.44MB floppy disks. 19. Is it OK to use ordinary Q-tips and alcohol to clean the recording head and how often should it be cleaned? Iomega recommends that 98% Isopropyl alcohol and a firm Q-tip be used every 25 hours of backup or restore time to insure proper maintenance of the drive. Do not use Isopropyl alcohol that has lanolin or any other substance added, since this will leave a film on the recording head. 20. Will the Ditto tape drive take a logical drive letter? No, the Ditto tape drive will not take a logical drive letter. The backup software, included with the tape drive, contains all the required drivers for the tape drive.

21. What are the Iomega Ditto Dash Accelerator Card default settings? The Iomega Ditto Dash comes factory set at I/O address 370H, DMA 3 and IRQ 6.

22. During the compare process, there are a lot of errors found and corrected. Is the backup reliable? When a file that is compared does not match, the file is read again. If they do match the second time, then it is indicated as one error found and one error corrected. All tape drives do this, but most of them do not report the results. A good rule of thumb to follow, there should not be more than 50 errors for every 200 MB of data backed-up. If there are more errors than this, then see document #3045 in the Iomega Faxback service, for troubleshooting tips.

23. What is the cost advantage of the Ditto compared to other backup devices? The cost per Megabyte is as low as 1/10 the price of other backup media (ZIP or JAZ). Easy One-Step backup software for Windows 3.1x, 95 and MS-DOS is included with Ditto tape drives.

24. Will the Ditto Tape Drive run in both horizontal and vertical positions? Yes, the external models have rubber feet on the bottom and side to support both positions.

25. I am having a hard time deciding between a Ditto and a Zip. Any suggestions? If you are interested in a low cost device for backup only, then the Ditto may be the best choice. The Ditto 3200 or the Ditto 2 GB will backup most hard drives on one cartridge. For the same cost, the Zip will backup a much smaller amount of data. However, the Zip allows you to run applications from a Zip disks, something that is not possible with the Ditto. You should also investigate third party backup software for use with either the Zip or Ditto.