The most common issue with the Pi 4 and booting is an inadequate power supply. What PS are you using and what is its output capacity.
The best results are with a genuine Raspberry Pi 4 supply with the USB-C output. Most other supplies do not provide enough output current to make the 4 work properly.
Plugging Ethernet should not cause any electrical problem, as it is galvanically isolated, although USB devices can cause power transients.
It seems unlikely it is a physical problem, "error reading inode #xxxxxxx" means there is a problem in the filesystem.
I assume "aborted journal detected" means the journalling system was unable to repair it.
@Milliways Comments about NOOBS sent me on a little research expedition that allowed me to fix the problem. Eventually, I found my way to this excellent article on boot problems: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=58151 From that, I figured out that the little lightning bolt on the rainbow screen was indicating a power problem and ...
Enable a journal on your root partition:
tune2fs -O has_journal /dev/mmcblk0p2
The journal enables the filesystem to revert to a consistent state after a crash. You may still lose data that was being written when you pulled the plug (so pulling the plug during a system upgrade may still result in an unbootable system), but it will not be possible for a ...
Depending on your specific project, you could also just mount the rootfs partition (or any other which is written to) as read-only via changing the mount options in /etc/fstab : in the (normally) third line it mounts the root partition, so you add ,ro after the default defaults,noatime.
Note, that after a reboot, you won't be able to write to that partition ...
I had the exact same issue on a P3 - tried different ISOs but no joy
I was able to fix by disabling cloud init via ssh.
1) get the IP address of the Pi - I was at home so just logged onto my router and got it from there
2) in windows command line on another machine login using command :
ssh ubuntu@[ip address]
the default password is 'ubuntu'
3) you ...