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chscag

 
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Member Since: Jan 23, 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 40,960
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Mac Specs: 27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, 3 iPods, Yosemite

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You've certainly done extensive trouble shooting, more than most folks would have. It does seem like (from your description) that the problem is with the internal hard drive. I'm assuming that the freezing occurs with every drive that you've tried? The fact that the external drive works OK pretty much points to something going on between the hard drive plug in connection and the molex cable connection on the logic board.

Have you had the machine apart to check where the hard drive cable plugs into the logic board via the molex connector I referred to? If you have, and the connections seem OK (no broken prongs, etc) then it's possible the cable itself might be faulty.

To get an idea of where everything is located on the logic board and what the cable looks like, go to iFixit: The free repair manual and refer to the tear down instructions for your model machine.

Let us know.

Regards.
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