TDA5-ZIF Adapter for Hitachi and Toshiba ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) Hard Disks
Hard disk manufacturers continue to introduce new hard disk form factors and connector standards. There are two prevalent standards for 1.8″ hard disks with ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) connectors, one popularized by Hitachi and the other by Toshiba.
The ZIF connectors on the Hitachi and Toshiba hard disks look the same, but they are not inter-compatible. Each type of hard disk connects to an FFC cable – a flat, flexible cable which is superficially similar to a ribbon cable. But, the Hitachi and Toshiba hard disks are designed for FFC cables of different thicknesses. Be careful! Many of the ZIF hard disk adapters on the market support only one or the other thickness, but not both.
The Tableau TDA5-ZIF works seamlessly with both FFC cable thicknesses and fully supports both Hitachi and Toshiba ZIF hard disks. The TDA5-ZIF can be used to adapt any Tableau IDE Forensic Bridge for use with a 1.8″ ZIF hard disk.
Tableau sells the TDA5-ZIF in a kit which includes the TDA5-ZIF itself, two FFC cables for use with Hitachi drives, two FFC cables for use with Toshiba drives, and a Tableau-branded nylon bag to keep everything organized. And like other Tableau hard disk adapters, the TDA5-ZIF is housed in a rugged plastic enclosure. None of the circuit board is exposed and subject to damage or short circuits.
Important: When using the TDA5-ZIF with the Tableau T5 or T35e, use the 2″ Tableau TC6-2 IDE cable to connect the TDA5-ZIF to the forensic bridge. Using the shorter TC6-2 when using IDE drive adapters for notebook hard disks will help to ensure data integrity and trouble-free operation. On the other hand, when using the TDA5-ZIF with a Tableau T14 Pocket Bridge, you can plug the T14 directly into the TDA5-ZIF and then plug the TDA5-ZIF directly into the notebook hard disk!
A word of caution regarding ZIF drives and the TDA5-ZIF:
ZIF connectors are not very robust and they are typically rated for only 20 insertion/removal cycles. When using the TDA5-ZIF, Tableau recommends that you leave the most recently used FFC cable connected to the TDA5-ZIF. Changing the FFC cable is only required when changing between Hitachi and Toshiba drives or when the FFC cable itself wears out. This practice will greatly extend the life of your TDA5-ZIF.