In Disk Utility, when I format and partition an 8GB flash drive it starts out saying an 8GB partion will be created.
When it's done, it reads:
Size: 7.66 GB (not unusual)
Available space: 2.26 GB
The blue area of the box is only part way filled in. When I resize the thing up to the blue, so that the Available space reads Zero KB, the Size then reads 5.4 GB, exactly the difference between 7.66 and 2.26.
What does that mean? There's nothing on the drive. I did an Erase and tried again, but same thing.
Because it assumes that part of the disk is reserved for OS X meaning you only have the 2.26 GBs for other storage.
If the disk is empty you shouldn't have any problem copying a file to it. You shouldn't have a problem cloning a disc image using Restore. I don't know what you are doing that prevents you from doing either unless you actually have created more than one partition on the disk.
Okay, I'm going to try the Restore process again.
It's definitely only one partition.
I'm doing this following instructions in the Lion Missing Manual, creating a bootable start up with the InstallESD.dmg file from within the package contents of the Lion Install app before I upgrade from Snow Leopard.
Do this. Forget the missing manual. I've done this routine many times, and I know it works. Be sure that your USB flash drive is properly prepped:
Make Your Own Lion Installer
1. After downloading Lion you must first save the Install Mac OS X Lion application. After Lion downloads DO NOT click on the Install button. Go to your Applications folder and make a copy of the Lion installer. Move the copy into your Downloads folder. Now you can click on the Install button. You must do this because the installer deletes itself automatically when it finishes installing Lion.
2. Get a USB flash drive that is at least 8 GBs. Prep this flash drive as follows:
3. Locate the saved Lion installer in your Downloads folder. CTRL- or RIGHT-click on the installer and select Show Package Contents from the contextual menu. Double-click on the Contents folder to open it. Double-click on the SharedSupport folder. In this folder you will see a disc image named InstallESD.dmg.
4. Plug in your freshly prepared USB flash drive. You are going to clone the InstallESD.dmg disc image to the flash drive as follows:
When the clone is completed you have a fully bootable Lion installer that you can use without having to re-download Lion.