Disk utility cannot see internal drive.
I have a 13” late 2011 MacBook Pro. It would boot to the flashing question mark so I thought I had a bad hard drive which I got. I installed it and my my install disk could not see the drive. Also disk utility could not see it. Did a little research and many people have had cables fail, got one and installed it and nada. The machine boots fine off of a USB enclosure with the original drive. Have reset pram too. Anything else I can do?
Sounds like a bad controller.
Can you try to engage the problematic Mac in Target Disk mode? As you know, the feature Target Disk mode is built into Mac hardware regardless of system volume.
To engage your Mac in Target Disk mode, please make sure the following.
1. Problematic Mac should have a Firewire Port or Thunderbolt Port.
2. Depending on (1) above, have an appropriate cable (Firewire cable or Thunderbolt cable).
3. A fully functioning Mac having port(s) mentioned in (1).
Start the problematic Mac holding the button ‘T’ on your keyboard. You will see a large Firewire Port Icon and a Thunderbolt Port icon. Now connect the Mac engaged in Target Disk mode to the fully functioning Mac using one of the cables mentioned previously.
Please check fully functioning Mac’s Finder Application has problematic Mac’s internal system volume mounted. If it is there, you can copy data manually or using Migration Assistant (on the fully functioning Mac.) from the volume mounted to the functioning Mac.
After that, use Disk Utility to repair the Partition Map Scheme and then the Volume Directory Structure on the problematic Mac’s system volume. Then you can do a clean installation of system software.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If the problematic Mac engages in Target Disk mode, you can try to save your Non-system data. If you are not sure how to do the above, please take the machine to Apple Authorised Service Centre.