kernel panic on first boot - RPi

I’ve been getting a kernel panic on my first boot up.

I got a Raspberry Pi 3 kit with an SD Card with NOOBS on it, which I ran once before remembering I wanted to install DietPi (to run pihole).

So afterwards I formatted the SD, and used Etcher to flash the SD card with DietPi v158 for RPi.

I kept seeing errors when running it for the first time (I did this multiple times) saying that it couldnt access something (I think the SD card itself) because that resource was busy.

Then on final boot, I would get the kernel panic with this code:

kernel panic-not syncing: vfs: unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0)

I ended up returning the kit to Amazon because not even formatting it to put NOOBS back on was working. It must’ve gotten corrupted somewhere along my first try.

I’m ordering another one as soon as the return goes through to try again. What did I do wrong and what should I do differently next time?
I see this working perfectly for everyone else and I want to use DietPi for my pihole as well, but I may as well just use Raspbian Lite on the pre-made NOOBS installer included in the kit, if my SD card will get f*cked again.