Data loss after creating flash disk

i just tried to make a bootable usb drive for linux, using balena etcher.
i didnt copy all the data from the usb drive to a back up as I was supposed to do and I was not aware I could lose all the existing data. after making the flash drive, all old data is now invisible. the strange thing is that after making the bootable usb drive, the size of the usb drive has been reduced from 8GB to 2.4MB.

does that mean there is some kind of partition, where all data is still stored?

when I check the USB stick, balena detects a USB drive with 8GB. When I check inm windows, it only sees 2.4 MB capacity.

I hope any of you has a clue

Hi and welcome to the forums!
The reason why you see a reduced size is because that’s the partition that your OS can read. If you go to your OS disk management tool, you should see the full size and possibly all the partitions, while Etcher reads the size of the target rather than the size of just readable partitions.
As for the data loss: you can try a recovery tool if you are confident with those