This might work if the machine runs Windows and if the file isn't a ridiculous size... NT-based Windows (NT\2K\XP) *might* not let you do this but it's worth a go...
Boot up with a boot floppy for Windows 95/98.
You'll find yourself at the DOS Prompt. Switch to the C:\ drive, and if you know where the file is, navigate to the directory.
Take out the bootdisk, put in a blank floppy and type the following:
copy filename.extension a:
Replace filename.extension with the proper filename and extension e.g. Document1.doc
Once you have the file, take out your disk, and reboot the machine. It'll boot as normal and you'll hopefully have the file
Can't believe nobody suggested that yet, sometimes the most jammy methods are the best.