The most prominent QIC standards in the mini cartridge area are QIC-40, QIC-80, QIC-3010 and QIC-3020. These standards, defined as "flexible disk controller compatible recording format for information interchange", ensure compatibility between platforms. QIC-40/-80 compatible drives must meet a set of standards that ensure their compatibility with each other and must also conform to the QIC-117 interface standard.
This document is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an in depth troubleshooting document.
Drive compatibility assumes that the software used formats and records data using the QIC standards. Tapes using proprietary software formatting and compression methods may not be compatible with other drives. Ditto Tools follows the QIC standard and can backup to or restore data from any tape, drive or software that follows those standards.
QIC-80 tapes are currently available in three lengths; 205 feet, 307.5 feet and 425 feet. QIC tapes have capacities of 80MB, 120MB and 170MB respectively. QIC-80 drives are able to read from (but not write to or format) tapes written by QIC-40 drives, which use low-density tapes. A high-density tape can be used in a low-density drive if it is formatted at low density, allowing users to format a DC2120 tape. For example, for use as an extended-length QIC-40 tape. Some drives also support the QIC-Wide standard.
QIC-3010 and QIC 3020 drives use the same cartridge size as QIC-80 and QIC-40 mini cartridges but use a different recording head to increase the tape's uncompressed capacity to 340MB for QIC-3010 drives and 680MB for QIC-3020 drives. Both can read QIC-40 and QIC-80 tapes and QIC-3020 drives can also read QIC-3010 tapes. Tapes are available in two lengths; 295' and 400'. Some drives also support the QIC-Wide standard.
As the name implies, most QIC tapes are .25" wide. QIC-Wide drives use a slightly wider tape (.315"). The uncompressed capacity for QIC-80 wide tapes is 210MB. QIC-3010 wide tapes hold 425MB, and QIC-3020 wide tapes hold 850MB. QIC-Wide drives will read standard cartridges, but standard drives cannot read the wide tapes.
Travan cartridges are similar in size and shape to standard DC2000 tape cartridges but are slightly wider on one side and thicker. Travan tapes are .315" wide and 750' long. The uncompressed capacity for QIC-80 Travan tapes is 400MB. QIC-3010 Travan tapes hold 800MB, and QIC-3020 Travan tapes hold 1.6GB. Travan drives conform to existing QIC-80, QIC-3010 and QIC-3020 standards and can read and write to standard format cartridges.