If it hasn't been used for some time, it might work on mains electric power only without a dead battery getting in the way. However, if you're planning to scrap it, it's adviseable to take the hard disk out before doing so. Once you've done that, a cheap converter will enable you to attach it to another computer via USB and take all your files off.
Thanks, I think there is something wrong with the computer getting power. Think I will try taking the hard disk out. any advice on the best way to do this, and where is the best place to look for the converter you mentioned. the computer was bought around 1998.