How in the hell does a file just disappear?

I have been writing Structural Damage and saving it on an external hard drive that I carry with me everywhere.  I used Google Docs at one point, but since I use a colored background to help with eye strain that isn’t available with Google Docs, I moved back to Word.  Last night I typed on my personal laptop while in bed, saved the file at 8:06 pm and turned off the computer.  This morning, I went to open the file, and it’s gone!

The hard drive is fine, it works, and there is no issue with the drive, but this file is completely missing.  Nowhere to be found.  I was at work when I discovered this and immediately thought I must have accidently deleted it.  Got home, checked the laptop, nothing in the recycle bin.  Word shows I saved it at 8:06 pm last night.  It is not unsaved and unrecoverable, it has fallen into some unknown abyss.

Luckily, I have chapter 22 available for me to post; but I had half of 23 written.  It pisses me off because now I don’t have my complete manuscript together like I did before.  I swear the forces are against me in my attempts to write.

If anyone has suggestions on something to try to unearth the file, let me know.  I have done an index search and it isn’t coming up anywhere.  So, I am at a loss for what to try next.

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