after fiddling around a bit more I tried yet another USB cable. while plugging it in I noticed that the other LEDs flashed quickly. I very gently wiggled it just slightly and the all stay on as long as I don't breath. 🙏 The board now is booted up and I was able to connect to the board and configure and am able to access the board over wifi..
Maybe I have a bad USB port on the board @dc42 ? What are your thoughts?
Yes it could be a bad USB port, either bad contacts inside the connector, or a bad solder joint between the back of the connector and the PCB. Those solder joints rarely cause trouble, and they can be inspected easily. Do they look OK?