FYI, VGA cables are not supported. Long ago one would use a “driver disk” for any VGA monitor as a method of telling the GPU what specifications the monitor supports. There was no ability in those monitors to allow a GPU to query the monitor for its specifications. There were certain modes which were “standard” and you would have been able to get one of those modes without the driver disk, but mostly the world (and definitely NVIDIA embedded systems) now require a more modern method whereby the GPU can query the monitor and get a response from the monitor as to specifications. This is done with the ddc wire, which uses i2c protocol to ask the monitor what its capabilities are (this is the EDID data).
NVIDIA embedded GPUs only accept specifications via this EDID content. Not all monitor capabilities are supported, e.g., no interlaced monitor is supported. It is possible that the TV did not support a non-interlaced specification. Any DVI-D supports the EDID, and you could use a proper adapter for that to HDMI and it would work. Anything DisplayPort also supports EDID, so an adapter from this to HDMI would work. You should avoid anything using VGA (some later models of VGA did have an equivalent to the DDC wire added, but so far as I know they all use an earlier protocol and don’t necessarily have a usable EDID…those monitors would also have a DVI-D connector, so there wouldn’t be any reason to use a purely VGA monitor).
Some HDMI televisions will work, but I’ve seen reports of televisions being less reliable as to whether or not they work relative to a true HDMI computer monitor.
When using the pre-built SD card images it is important to understand that the SD card models also have QSPI memory built in to the module. This memory is used during boot. Several earlier releases used the same QSPI content, and so within that set of releases the QSPI did not need to change for using different SD card images. There was then some change, and the newer releases of the SD card images work with that newer release of QSPI content, but mixing older and newer does not work. The only way to change the QSPI memory is to flash the actual Jetson, and so I am wondering if you are mixing a Nano with older QSPI and newer SD card image.
The 2GB and 4GB would of course have different QSPI content as well.
There is a chance that what you’ve created with Balena Etcher is just in need of the Nano itself getting the QSPI flashed to a matching release. I couldn’t say for sure, but it would always be advised that the first time you change a release on the SD card that you also flash the Nano itself from an Ubuntu PC. One hint that this might be the case is if an older SD card still works.