If we review the spec sheet for your HD and compare it to what your system supports we can see the WDxxxxBEVT drives SATA Interface is SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) which will match your systems primary HD SATA port. So we know the SATA speed mismatch we often see is not an issue here.
Some of the baseline things I do before I dig in:
Then I would install the HD internally and using a second bootable drive connected via either the Thunderbolt, FireWire or USB port (using the fastest the system had) booting up the system and then run Disk Utility to see if I could even see the internal drive.
If I can see it, I would open the system Prefs and make sure the internal drive was selected as the boot drive and restart the system with just the bootable internal drive, was it able to boot up now? If not I would reformat the drive and install from the external drive a fresh copy of the OS as either the partition mapping is damaged or the OS is.
If I can't see it and I can see it externally via an adapter or external HD case I would suspect the SATA cable is bad. I would then replace it. I have encountered a few bad cables sold to be as good so I wouldn't assume the new cable was good. I would also make sure it was the newest rev of the cable as Apple has improved the cable over the years.
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