If the drive has more than one interface (USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt, eSATA), try one of the other interfaces. - Nope, just USB
Check that the data cable is securely inserted at both ends. - ...
Try a different cable. - already have.
If you're connecting the drive through a hub, connect it directly to a built-in port on the Mac. - on a Macbook
If you're connecting it directly, try a different port. - already have
Disconnect all other devices on the bus, or as many as possible. - none on there
Test the drive with another Mac. Test another drive with this Mac. - yeah, in the post.
If the drive is bus-powered, but has an AC adapter, connect the adapter. - it's not
Boot into Recovery and launch Disk Utility. Is the drive recognized? - Nope
Start up in Safe Mode and test. - Again, nothing
Reset the System Management Controller - seems a bit drastic, gonna hold off on this a while...
Thanks, but still nothing.
It's not clear whether you tested another drive, but I'll assume that you did, and that it worked. I'm also assuming that the drive is not bus-powered; that is, it always gets power from an AC adapter.
If the problem drive still isn't recognized after you reset the SMC (which is not "drastic"), then it's either faulty or incompatible at the firmware or hardware level. Check with the manufacturer for a firmware update, or use another drive.