|The best thing to do is take the drive out of the computer and attach it as a slave or secondary drive in another computer with a working OS and copy the files to the other drive. If it's a laptop drive you'll need an adapter so you can connect it to a regular desktop system.|
This is windows 98 right? And other than the hard drive the computer works OK?
Or leave the drive in and get another hard drive compatible with 98 (IDE and less than about 120 gig) and attach it to the computer. Use a 98 bootdisk to partition and format the drive. Then use the COPY and XCOPY commands to copy the files from the bad drive to the new drive. (If it's a laptop this may not be an option.)
Or get enough floppy disks to copy the files.
Or get a parallel port zip drive from ebay or wherever, download the dos drivers for it and set them up on a floppy disk. Then copy the files to zip disks.
You might be able to set up a flash drive in dos and copy the files to it but that's a little touch-and-go.