Long story short – I decided to refurbish a couple of old laptops as giveaways for charity. For this I partly needed to update the BIOS which due to a dead battery caused Dell’s supplied tool WinPhlash.exe to panic (error -144). Error -144 is short for not having more than 10% of battery juice and/or not having a proper charger connected.
- Create bootable USB-stick with either FreeDOS or MS-DOS using e.g. RUFUS
- Download and copy phlash16.exe to the bootable USB-stick.
- Download and run the BIOS update binary provided by Dell and await error -144. Locate the BIOS.ROM file (usually C:\Windows\Temp\...WinPhlash…\BIOS.ROM
- Copy BIOS.ROM to the USB-stick and rename it to BIOS.WPH
- Reboot from USB-stick into Free-DOS/MS-DOS
- From the prompt C:\> type and PHLASH16.EXE and hit ENTER
- Stay put and don’t disconnect power until the machine reboots!