If I might suggest something, I use a great free tool called Everything. I find it very useful to instantly find things when I don't know exactly where they are. As nullptr stated, the files may have been moved, not lost. In any case, why don't you have a backup? If your files "go away" and you don't have a backup then shame on you.
In my opinion, Windows is a virus, just waiting to infect your systems! I ONLY use Linux. My wife is an Apple user (iPad and Mac workstations). Neither of us have virus issues, or lost files such as this.
Here's another example of MS idiocy. There is no way to change the size of displayed text in Skype. The given font apparently only comes in micro which is murder on my ancient eyes. Just about every other software allows you to set the font and Windows allows you to zoomin/ont with CTRL-WHEEL. Bu Skype, which seems to ask me to install an update every other week doesn't have this feature.
I'm not saying Windows is bad. I love it, but I have to shake my head at what is left out.
Agreed Jim. No OS is perfect is the point, and there are always checks and balances to be made when choosing which we use. It's certainly not as simple as saying 'use Linux' as that is not going to be a suitable solution for a lot of people for a lot of reasons.