So I tried Pi distros direct from raspberry pi imager and then also AB on etcher. I couldn't for the life of me get the latest AB's to load on 3 different SDs and my SSD. If I installed the latest Pi it would boot easily on my SSD and SD cards - no issues. I then did a manual AB install onto the Pi and it loaded etc, but I wanted the server copy.
I bought a new AC charger as well etc and no changes. However...
I downloaded the AB 2.0.1 and I imaged it onto the SD card and my SSD card. It ended up booting and showing a Pi screen and it had start4.elf not compatible and a 'USB-MSD Boot requires newer software'.
So on my Mac I downloaded the firmware from github.com/raspberrypi/firmware. Mounted my SSD on my mac and copied the boot to the USD. It now booted absolutely fine. I then SSH and did an update and just fails on the HNSKY it seems
"Preconfiguring packages ... dpkg: unrecoverable fatal error, aborting:
files list file for package 'hnsky' is missing final newline
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (2)"However its booting fine! I'm now going to do AB 2.0.3 and the same process to see if it will work.