FORMATTING A TAPE - Iomega Tape Backup
1) Insert a tape into the Ditto Tape Drive.
2) Double-click on The Works icon on your desktop.
3) Click on Tools, and then on Format. It will take an hour or longer to format most tapes, so this is best done when you don't need to use the computer for a while. And for this reason, it is usually better to buy "Pre-formatted Tapes," although you may have to format these tapes, too, if your Tape Drive doesn’t accept the formatting on the tape.
4) Formatting can be used to erase every single bit on the tape. Its primary function, however, is to put a "track" on the tape so that the computer knows where it is on the tape (this is similar to "cutting a track" on a vinyl LP or album, but before you "lay down" any music or sounds on the track).
5) To erase the tape, it is usually better to choose Erase, which should be called "Quick Erase" and can also be found under Tools. This will erase only the "header" or index on the tape, which saves much time, but is equivalent to completely erasing the tape because the computer doesn't see any data on the tape. When you do another backup, the old data will be erased and overwritten with the new data being backed up.