The floppy drive had failed in a very bad way. All diskettes inserted would get erased. The killer clue was that the drive would erase media even when the machine was not connected to the drive (power only.) This confounded many and you better believe the owner did ask "can you fix the drive?"
We had to say no and they said they would find a better shop that could fix diskette drives rather than replace them. You always wonder.
My wife uses Lotus 1-2-3 and we think it was installed around 2003. Whenever she tries to read the data on a floppy, it gets erased. We have replaced the floppy reader/drive. Our computer repairman says that the floppy disks are "dying". This is THE ORIGINAL Lotus 1-2-3 program and it has never been updated because it was never hooked up to the internet. The wife only uses the spreadsheet portion of the software that is installed. Can anyone who reads this give us an answer, or point us in the right direction to try and solve this problem. I have joined the IBM discussion group to try and get answers too.