While flashing haos, balena etcher froze at 31% multiple times, but on reboot, ha seemed to run normally except that i was unable to use anything that relied on dns resolution, like connecting to home assistant cloud/nabu casa, opower or pirateweather. I tried to use rpi-imager to flash the disk, but it does not allow for flashing to non-removable drives (at least the gui version doesn’t). Once I realized that I could use rpi-imager in cli mode and flash to disk that way, I was able to flash haos to disc successfully. On reboot, I was able to connect to all services that relied on dns resolution (home assistant cloud, opower, pirateweather). I then restored from partial backup and ha is now working normally again. Very unusual that an incomplete flash would allow for an almost completely functional operating system except for one small part, dns resolution.
There is a whole topic about it
As balena etcher contains ad- & spyware and sends information what users do to the headquarters the logically next step (if I would be a badware producer) would be to manipulate image writes on the fly and may inject some custom DNS settings which allows enrolling more ads and trackers on the users who made the mistake using etcher in the first place.
A tool like etcher but without adware, spyware and known security vulnerables (eol electron) is called usbimager. It’s plain simple, works like it should and even outperforms etcher writing compressed images. Sometimes less (usbimager ~300kb) is better than more (etcher ware ~500.000kb with all dependencies).