Excuse the inexperience of combining modern OS with old hardware, but I recently dug out some floppy disks with some old XP info needing accessing on them. I’ve managed to get hold of a drive for them, and am running Windows7 Ultimate. I’ve got ‘Setup’ to identify the drive.
I initially managed to browse the first disks, and for it to display the old ‘Word’ file icons on it. I tried to open one of the files directly from the disk without first downloading it locally. Word 2010 started to open it, but wouldn’t even fully open itself. Eventually after several minutes, I cancelled the application.
I inserted a 2nd floppy disk, and Win7 wouldn’t even browse it without wanting to ‘Format’ it first. This would involve losing all info on it! I entered the first disk again and the same scenario occurred as the 2nd. It didn’t even want to browse it without wanting to format it first. Would anyone please know what could be done to open the floppies without having to ‘Format’ them and lose all data?
My guess is that W7 does not natively support floppy disks, and it's having trouble with the floppy drive drivers. You'll need to find an older PC with XP and transfer the information to a USB drive. You might be able to do it at a library or somewhere else you'd expect the computers to be a few generations behind.
Win7 works just fine with an external USB floppy drive or internal floppy drive. What is more likely is that your disks are old and "going bad". Try them in a different computer and see if you can copy them to a USB drive like boiler1990 suggested, but don't hold your breath...