pi3B+ doesn't initiate installer 10.2 from ssd

Suddenly home assistant stopped working on my pi3B+ on SSD (usb). Wasn’t even discoverable on the local network to begin with.
So I decided to re-install 10.2 on my ssd with balenaEtcher
but now it doesn’t initiate the installer at all.
At the beginning i can see the pi3B+ on the local network but after a while it disappears, maybe times out and goes off (?).
As a test, i installed raspbian os and boot it succesfully from my usb ssd (without the sd card) so to verify that the pi is bootable from the usb.
For some reason, when i try to install home assistant it seems it times out and doesn’t load from the usb ssd.

Also, tried to install it on a second pi3B+, or even tried a different official pi power supply. Same results.

Has something changed on the newer home assistant installation?

Any idea / suggestion?