Thank you Scott. I have looked everywhere. The sad thing is that I have
been working on this project all week-every day-and obviously saving it
every day. I opened it up this evening for awhile and then closed out of
Illustrator and went to dinner. An hour and a half later I opened
Illustrator and my files for this week are not in there at all. "Open most
recent files" shows my most recent file was last week. These files aren't
in "My pictures" either. The weirdest thing (besides them just disappearing
altogether) is that even my file names for last week aren't correct.They
are " LastName_FirstName_W1A1"," LastName_First_Name_W1A2", etc., but they
are showing as "W1A1", "W2A2", etc right now. (In "Open recent files").
Forget about "open recent files" look on the drives.
Files don't traditionally disappear from a hard drive. Although Illustrator internal recent file menu may not be correct. I've never seen a case where Illustrator deleted a file from a hard drive. In fact, I don't think that's even possible if you wanted to.
I searched c drive and explorer. They are not there. I looked in recycle
bin and have old stuff but not these files. Recovery point is the 21st so
that won't work. My point about "open recent files" is not only are my
recent files not showing in there, but the stuff that is in there isn't
showing correctly. The names are messed up.
Have you tried finding it using Adobe Bridge? That would be next best thing to use besides Illustrator. If you have the file name, you could, in addition to Bridge, do a Find > File Name. I did a test with my Illustrator. I saved a file I just finished working on. Quit Illustrator ( which sounds like what you did when you went to dinner ). Then, we launched Illustrator and did a standard File > Open. Illustrator went back to the same directory I had been in before I quit. So, I don't understand why Illustrator would not go to the same directory upon relauch and upon File > Open?
I know this does not help you now, but next time just do a save and leave everything open, just put the computer to sleep until you get back.