Won't identify hard drive through disk utility in recovery mode

I replaced my early 2011 13" unibody Macbook Pro disc drive with a 500gb solid state drave from sandisk about a a year ago. I recalibrated it for Mac OS, and over the year it proved a good fit. (I also quadroupled my ram and replaced my battery in the same timeframe).

A little over a week ago when trying to download the Pages application, I had to update to Sierra (I think its Sierra, whatever the most recent update was), and it was downhill form there.

My computer at first didnt recognize the internal hard drive, so I ended up redownloading Mac OS from the recovery screen (cmnd R upon restarting computer), and slowly spliced information from the old hard drive's name (which I could still access through a different user through finder) on to my newly installed mac interface. Went well for another few days, but I had a seperate issue with multiple users that were both admin users, but I wasnt able to delete either of them (even after spending multiple hours on the phone wiht apple support, and it was apparently an issue they havnt seen, and I havnt hear from them since unfortunately).

After downloading all of my information on to an external hard drive, I erased my internal hard drive completely, re-re-downloaded mac os, and thought i was all good. After a few hours of working smoothly, the computer conked out, and when starting it up, it has the generic apple logo and progress bar, and after a few minutes, as the bar finally reaches full, the computer shuts down. Start it up again for the same problem. Even when getting into the recovery mode and going into disk utility, there is nothing that comes up in the window. There is just a small loading circle that doesnt stop for extended periods of time, which tells me that the computer is not able to identify any hard drive. Its rather worrying, and I havnt been able to find much help online, or from apple themselves.

From the recovery screen, I went through the safari option to relay my problem, if any were wondering how I logged online. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

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My first guess here is the SATA cable is breaking down and needs to be replaced. Here's the IFIXIT guide you'll need to follow: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 Hard Drive Cable Replacement as for the cable I would put this one in instead of what the guide points you to: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable. This is a better constructed cable than the older one.

After you put the new one in you'll need to scratch the drive again (reformatting it) and installing a fresh copy of the OS.

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable Image

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Interesting. I was finally able to get into disk utility, erase the drive again, and download Mac OS again. It seems to be working fine once again, though time will tell. Would a faulty cable be able to work most of the time but allow for little faults that get amplified through the rest of the computer? All of your help is much appreciated, thanks very much!

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Think of it this way... The table light plug is loose in the wall outlet so what happens? The light flickers as sometimes its connected and other times not.

I would stop dickering around trying to recover the drive as you can in fact damage the drive with a bad cable! Just replace the cable as it's a known problem in this series. Just look though some of the other 13" & 15" MacBook Pro questions here.

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