IF you’re using Windows, this is most likely a Windows issue. The thing I’ve found in the past when dealing with the USB g_ether gadget driver. Is that when upgrading from one image to another on the Beaglebone you may have to upgrade the driver on the Windows host side. This is one place where Windows definitely falls on it’s face - Dealing with drivers of this type. Which it seems that Windows is just “lazy” and would rather keep an older driver, and fail than double check to make sure it’s using the correct driver, and work.
There are a few things to check, which may help.
Run Windows update.
Search the internet for the best way of completely removing drivers for your version of Windows.
Make sure the device is configured properly under windows network interfaces.
Make sure g_ether( possibly g_multi ) is actually running and configured properly on the beaglebone.
When dealing with Windows, sometimes there there may be no particular rhyme or reason to why things are not working. When it comes to drivers of this sort, Windows has a really bad tendency to loose it’s brain.Not just for this external hardware, or even this type of hardware. COM ports will start behaving like this as well, if a system is not properly and manually maintained. I’ve found that completely uninstalling the drivers, making sure no old instances of these driver are still installed, before attempting to reinstall them works the best. But the steps between Windows version can vary, and require a lot of time to perform. You have to be meticulous. Sometimes booting into safe mode, removing the drivers, removing all old instances of similar drivers. Then once completely clean, start over from scratch. Then if the driver still does not work, you may have to run Windows update to “complete the deal”.
As for the images, the LXDE or similar images are going to have X, and LXDE etc on them. Then the console images are going to be fairly minimal, with minimal tools installed for connectivity( ssh server, etc ). The IoT images, whcih I’ve not used at all myself. As I understand it are similar to the console images, but with Nodejs, NodeRED, etc, pre installed, and working properly.