How are you trying to find the records? Are you using a scripted process or manual enter find mode and search?
"Do I have to put those data boxes back on the layout even though I'm not going to use them?"
I'd say so, yes.
However you might be able to have your cake and eat it by creating a second layout with all the fields in it for performing finds.
Change to Layout mode and create a new Layout (Layouts menu, New layout command). Choose the table form the list of options, select all fields and select the layout template.
You can switch between the layouts using the Layouts drop-down menu at the top of the Status Area, which is on the left hand side of the FileMaker Pro window.