That 20-page report you've been writing for weeks suddenly disappear from your hard drive? Weblog Hack College lists 10 ways you may be able to recover an accidentally deleted Word document, including searching your hard drive for Word's AutoRecover backup file:
In Word, go to Tools, then Options. Under the File Locations tab, double-click AutoRecover files and make a note of that path location. Click Cancel and Close. Open up that folder in My Computer or Windows Explorer and search for any .ASD files.While a full-on backup system is your best bet for avoiding this situation in the future, you can also set Word to automatically back up your files (and if you already do, search for *.WBK files on your desktop for possible recovery, too.) If not, turn it on in the Tools menu's Options dialog's Save tab.