Sometimes “no error” can be observed in the console by reading the logs. The console will often show you something or another.
There is a tricky way to resolve your issue whereby you can boot to the installer and pull up the Unix Fdisk and Mount commands to get to your disk, but I really wouldn’t recommend this for newbies to the Unix CLI. Playing around with Fdisk if you don’t know what you’re doing can either unwittingly format the wrong partition or screw up your disk entirely if you get the cylinders wrong on the disk or some such.
The more seamless way to do it is just to use disk utility to erase and format the disk. This may not come up as an option during the installation using the disk utility version on the OS X installer disk though. It’s much safer just to wipe everything including the partition table from a live OS X install.
Failing that if you want to be really stubborn you can probably nuke the entire disk and all of its partition table using a Linux live CD such as Ubuntu. This will also give you a GUI tool where if Linux will if not recognise the disk format will at least allow you to nuke the disk back to being a blank partition table.
Your issue is not with the disk itself its with the fact that for whatever reason OS X has put in no backwards compatibility for the disk format that High Sierra uses with Sierra running Macs. This reminds of the old days with HFS and the ubiquitous “wherehaveallmyfilesgone.txt” message for HFS+ formatted disks except worse.
At least in those days you would get an explanation wrapped up in the HFS wrapper to tell you what the deal is with the new disk format and that you needed Mac OS 8.1 or newer to use the Disk. But by that comment you can probably tell I’ve been running Macs for around 20 years now and now we don’t get a warning, we just get a disk format that is not readable on older Macs. A situation that is overlooked and not well thought out.