|HI Russ, start by cleaning out he floppy drive.|
Remove its covers and blow out with a hairdryer set to cold and maximim blast. Use a long thin soft brush to assist.
Carefully clean the heads with a bent cotton bud/q-tip dipped in isopropyl alcohol (liquid that comes with cd/dvd cleaning kits).
Make sure everything moves easily as maybe some grease has gone sticky where it has been applied (screw spindle?) as the drive has not been used for some time.
Also disconnect/re-connect both ends of the interface cable, 2 or 3 times, to clean the contacts. Maybe same for power cable.
Regarding transferring files rather than buying a floppy drive, why not have a friend with one, email you the files.
Please advise back on progress.
Good Luck - Keep us posted.