USB booting is not handled by kernel, it is handled by u-boot and only after SD card with LE is not detected. That said you may be right that is has some influence on how kernel driver works. Can you please do the following: execute fw_setenv upgrade_step 1 over SSH and reboot - this will make all u-boot variables go back to default values and thus disable SD and USB booting.
how do I revert the change to allow booting from SD/USB? Disabling USB made no difference other than it booting quicker which is expected, but i would like to keep the USB booting.
The third kernel test is much easier to boot, I had to unplug multiple times before LE would boot with test 1 and 2. However with the third test it usually boots with 1 power pull.
The other thing I notice is I will see the Beelink logo for about 8 seconds then it will blink and either freeze or boot to LE, I do nopt recall seeing this with 009.
Lastly I have been unable to get it to hang if i "poweroff" instead of reboot. It has booted successfully each and every time, while it would hang at the 3 or 4th reboot.