Collections lost in Windows Movie Maker

Thanks for having me! I lost all my hard earned clips in my collections from Windows Movie Maker after at least a hundred hours of edeting, twice, and was told that it could be from having performed a "System Restore". Can anyone help suggest a way to avoid this from happening in the future?
Also: I have been editing the clips while they are in the collections clipboard instead of the time line. Is that not a good practice and by having them edited in the timeline, would I then save them as a project every so often to avoid loosing them? If so any hints on doing so would be greatly appreciated as well as detailed instructions since I haven’t yet learned the entire lingo necessary to understand what’s being said. Thanks again

DannyG57
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  1. I don't know if Windows Movie does this, it should, but I use Cyberlink Power Director 5 that allows me to save my projects as avi files so I don't have to worry about the program, i.e., as an avi file I can use it with any video editing program. Generally project files can only be read by the program that creates them and are linked to a particular video file in a specific place. Obviously this takes up more space . I also save projects to a different partition or drive than the OS and programs are on and so less likely to lose them.
  2. Did you discover the original cause of the loss?
    Then did you find either a backup folder or navigation options to the lost collections data at other locations?
    MS solutions are vague for this problem.
    GWR
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