Mountain Lion installer cant find my HD

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I have a MBP 13" mid 2012 / Mountain Lion 10.8.2

A while ago I got a spinning wheel right after starting my mac. I contacted Apple since my mac was still under warranty, and after further diagnosis, they told me that I have to replace the HD, so they mail me a new HD.

I connected the new HD using a USB cable to format and re-partition it using disk utility (At this point, DU was able to see the HD on a USB connection).

After partitioning, I removed my Mac cover to replace my HDs. I booted using a Mountain Lion USB drive, but the installer couldn't find the new HD, just the recovery partition.

I bought a new HD from Amazon, same result, my mac can start with teh old HD. Also, the disk utility can read the new HDs if they are on a usb connection, but it cant read them if they are on a SMART connection !

I deeply appreciate any suggestions ! I'm really stuck..
 

Slydude

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Your Mac's Specs
2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 12 Pro Max, 2015 iMac 16 GB Big Sur
Perhaps you have checked this already but are you are of the following:

1. The drive is formatted as HFS+ Extended Journaled.
2. The Partition type is set to GUID

If you are unsure about this these directions may help.
 
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Best may well be to pop the drive in, then start from the thumb drive, lave Installer go to utilities and format Mac OS Extended (Journaled), into Options under Partition, and make sure GUID is selected. Perhpas still under Windows Partition Map?
 
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The old drive is readable and accessible, which means nothing wrong with the SATA cable.
Both drives are typical (HGST 500Gig) !
The new HD is not accessible on the cable, but accessible on a USB, so I cant install mountain lion from a USB.
 
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I'm quite surprised that Apple mailed you a replacement HD. I would think that they don't consider the HD on a unibody MBP as a user replaceable item.
 

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