You said your favorites had disappeared, not your favorites tab. It sounds like they have been deleted either by a virus, a registry cleaning program or unintentionally by you. If that is the case, I don't think you can ever get them back, sorry.
When I opened my computer to-day my favorites was missing Marian Howe
when you open Internet Explorer are the favorites there !
In MY Computer ,right click on the top tool bar and chose customize, in the left click on favorites ,hit the add button to add it to the right pane ,Favorites will now now up on the tool bar.
now if its the favorites in the very top of the tool bar ,where it says file/edit /view favorites now that's a different problem