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Dylan Sanchez
Dylan Sanchez

TASM vs MASM: Which Assembler Should You Choose for 64 Bit Windows?


TASM Download for 64 Bit




If you are interested in learning or practicing assembly language programming on your Windows machine, you might have heard of TASM. But what is TASM and how can you use it on your 64 bit Windows? In this article, we will answer these questions and more. We will show you how to download and install TASM on your Windows system, how to use it to write and run assembly programs, what are the features and benefits of TASM, and how it compares with other assemblers. By the end of this article, you will have a clear idea of how to use TASM for your assembly language projects.




Tasm Download For 64 Bit



What is TASM and what does it do?




TASM stands for Turbo Assembler, an assembler for software development published by Borland in 1989. An assembler is a program that converts assembly language code into machine code that can be executed by the processor. Assembly language is a low-level programming language that directly corresponds to the instructions of the processor. It is used to write fast and efficient programs that require direct control over the hardware.


TASM runs on and produces code for 16- or 32-bit x86 MS-DOS and compatible on Microsoft Windows. It can be used with Borland's other language products: Turbo Pascal, Turbo Basic, Turbo C, and Turbo C++. The Turbo Assembler package is bundled with Turbo Linker and is interoperable with Turbo Debugger. Borland advertised Turbo Assembler as being 2-3 times faster than its primary competitor, Microsoft Macro Assembler (MASM). TASM can assemble source in a MASM-compatible mode or an ideal mode with a few enhancements. Object-Oriented programming was added in version 3. The last version of Turbo Assembler is 5.4, with files dated 1996 and patches up to 2010; it is still included with Delphi and C++Builder.


Why do you need TASM on 64 bit Windows?




If you have a modern Windows system, chances are that it has a 64 bit processor and operating system. This means that it can run both 32 bit and 64 bit programs, but not 16 bit programs. However, many assembly language programs are written for the 16 bit mode, especially those that target MS-DOS or older versions of Windows. To run these programs on your Windows system, you need an emulator or a virtual machine that can simulate the 16 bit environment.


One such emulator is DOSBox, which is a free and open source program that emulates an IBM PC compatible computer running MS-DOS. DOSBox can run many DOS games and applications that are not compatible with modern Windows systems. You can use DOSBox to run TASM and compile your assembly programs for the 16 bit mode.


Another option is to use a newer assembler that can produce code for the 64 bit mode. However, this may require you to learn a different syntax or modify your existing code to make it compatible with the new assembler. Also, some features or functions may not be available or work differently in the 64 bit mode.


How to download and install TASM on 64 bit Windows




There are two main ways to download and install TASM on your Windows system: using DOSBox and TASM package, or using GUI Turbo Assembler (TASM). We will explain both methods in detail below.


Using DOSBox and TASM package




The first method is to use DOSBox and TASM package, which contains the original TASM files and some additional tools. Here are the steps to follow:


  • Download and install DOSBox from https://www.dosbox.com/download.php?main=1. You can choose the version that suits your Windows system.



  • Download the TASM package from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxZD0cQhs08pYzNlNjZjZjQtZmUxMC00ZWQ5LTg0ZjAtYTM4MzA2NzdhMjUy/view?usp=sharing. This is a zip file that contains the TASM files and some additional tools.



  • Extract the TASM package to a folder on your Windows system. For example, you can extract it to C:\TASM.



  • Open DOSBox and mount the folder where you extracted the TASM package as a virtual drive. For example, you can type the following command in DOSBox:



mount c: c:\tasm


  • Change the current drive to the virtual drive. For example, you can type the following command in DOSBox:



c:


  • Run the install.bat file to install TASM on the virtual drive. For example, you can type the following command in DOSBox:



install.bat


  • Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation. You can choose the default options or customize them as you wish.



  • After the installation is done, you can run TASM by typing tasm in DOSBox. You can also run Turbo Linker by typing tlink, and Turbo Debugger by typing td.



Using GUI Turbo Assembler (TASM)




The second method is to use GUI Turbo Assembler (TASM), which is a modern graphical user interface for TASM. It is compatible with 64 bit Windows and supports both 16 bit and 32 bit assembly programs. Here are the steps to follow:


  • Download and install GUI Turbo Assembler (TASM) from https://sourceforge.net/projects/guitasm8086/. You can choose the version that suits your Windows system.



  • Run GUI Turbo Assembler (TASM) from your Windows start menu or desktop shortcut.



  • You will see a window with a menu bar, a toolbar, a status bar, and a tabbed editor. You can use the menu and toolbar options to create, open, save, compile, run, and debug your assembly programs.



  • To create a new assembly program, click on File > New or press Ctrl+N. A new tab will open in the editor with a default template for an assembly program.



  • To open an existing assembly program, click on File > Open or press Ctrl+O. A dialog box will appear where you can browse and select your assembly file.



  • To save your assembly program, click on File > Save or press Ctrl+S. A dialog box will appear where you can enter or choose a file name for your assembly file.



  • To compile your assembly program, click on Build > Compile or press F9. The compiler will check your code for errors and warnings and display them in the output window at the bottom of the screen.



  • To run your assembly program, click on Build > Run or press F10. The program will execute in a separate window and display the results.



  • To debug your assembly program, click on Debug > Start Debugging or press F5. The debugger will open in a separate window where you can set breakpoints, watch variables, step through code, and inspect registers and memory.



How to use TASM on 64 bit Windows




Once you have downloaded and installed TASM on your Windows system, you can use it to write and run assembly programs. In this section, we will show you how to write and compile a simple "Hello World" program in both 16 bit and 32 bit modes using TASM syntax. We will also show you how to run and debug your programs using Turbo Linker and Turbo Debugger.


Writing and compiling assembly programs




To write an assembly program, you need to use a text editor that can save files in plain text format with an .asm extension. You can use any editor of your choice, such as Notepad, Notepad++, Sublime Text, Visual Studio Code, etc. Alternatively, you can use the editor provided by GUI Turbo Assembler (TASM) or DOSBox.


To compile an assembly program, you need to use TASM to convert your .asm file into an .obj file, which contains the machine code. Then, you need to use Turbo Linker to link your .obj file with any libraries or modules and create an executable file with an .exe or .com extension. Alternatively, you can use the build options provided by GUI Turbo Assembler (TASM) or DOSBox.


Here is an example of a simple "Hello World" program in 16 bit mode using TASM syntax:


.model small .stack 100h .data msg db "Hello World!", "$" .code main proc mov ax, @data mov ds, ax mov ah, 9 mov dx, offset msg int 21h mov ah, 4ch int 21h main endp end main


To compile this program using TASM and Turbo Linker in DOSBox, you can type the following commands:


tasm hello.asm tlink hello.obj


This will create an executable file named hello.exe in the same folder as your source file. You can run this file by typing hello in DOSBox.


Here is an example of a simple "Hello World" program in 32 bit mode using TASM syntax:


.386 .model flat, stdcall option casemap:none include \masm32\include\windows.inc include \masm32\include\kernel32.inc include \masm32\include\user32.inc includelib \masm32\lib\kernel32.lib includelib \masm32\lib\user32.lib .data msg db "Hello World!",0 .code start: invoke MessageBoxA, NULL, addr msg, addr msg, MB_OK invoke ExitProcess, NULL end start


To compile this program using TASM and Turbo Linker in DOSBox, you need to have the MASM32 SDK installed on your Windows system and mounted as a virtual drive in DOSBox. For example, if you have installed MASM32 SDK in C:\MASM32, you can mount it as D: drive in DOSBox by typing:


mount d: c:\masm32


Then, you can type the following commands to compile your program:


tasm /ml hello.asm tlink /Tpe /aa /c hello.obj kernel32.lib user32.lib


This will create an executable file named hello.exe in the same folder as your source file. You can run this file by typing hello in DOSBox.


Running and debugging assembly programs




To run an assembly program, you need to have an executable file with an .exe or .com extension that can be executed by your processor or emulator. You can use Turbo Linker to create such files from your .obj files. Alternatively, you can use the run options provided by GUI Turbo Assembler (TASM) or DOSBox.


To debug an assembly program, you need to have a debugger that can inspect and modify the state of your processor and memory while your program is running. You can use Turbo Debugger to debug your assembly programs. Alternatively, you can use the debug options provided by GUI Turbo Assembler (TASM) or DOSBox.


Here are some tips on how to use Turbo Debugger to debug your assembly programs:


  • To start Turbo Debugger, type td in DOSBox. You will see a window with a menu bar, a toolbar, a status bar, and several panes. You can use the menu and toolbar options to load, run, stop, step, trace, break, watch, modify, and analyze your programs.



  • To load an executable file into Turbo Debugger, click on File > Open Program or press Ctrl+O. A dialog box will appear where you can browse and select your executable file.



  • To run your program in Turbo Debugger, click on Run > Go or press F5. The program will execute until it encounters a breakpoint or an error.



  • To set a breakpoint in Turbo Debugger, click on Run > Toggle Breakpoint or press F2. A breakpoint is a point in your code where the execution will stop and allow you to inspect or modify the state of your processor and memory. You can set breakpoints at specific addresses or labels or symbols in your code. You can also set conditional breakpoints that will only trigger when a certain expression is true.



  • To step through your code in Turbo Debugger, click on Run > Trace Into or press F8. This will execute one instruction at a time and show you the changes in the processor and memory. You can also use Run > Trace Over or press F7 to execute one instruction or procedure at a time.



  • To watch a variable or an expression in Turbo Debugger, click on View > Watch or press Alt+W. A dialog box will appear where you can enter the name or the expression of the variable you want to watch. The value of the variable or expression will be displayed in the watch window at the bottom of the screen.



  • To modify a register or a memory location in Turbo Debugger, click on View > Registers or View > Memory or press Alt+R or Alt+M. A dialog box will appear where you can enter the name of the register or the address of the memory location you want to modify. You can also enter a new value for the register or the memory location.



  • To analyze your code in Turbo Debugger, click on View > Disassembly or View > Source or press Alt+D or Alt+S. A window will appear where you can see the disassembly or the source code of your program. You can also use View > Call Stack or View > Variables to see the call stack or the local variables of your program.



TASM features and benefits




TASM is one of the most popular and widely used assemblers for software development on Windows. It has many features and benefits that make it a powerful and reliable tool for assembly language programmers. Here are some of them:


  • TASM is fast and efficient. It can assemble large and complex programs in a short time and produce optimized machine code that runs fast and smoothly.



  • TASM is compatible with other Borland products. It can be used with Turbo Pascal, Turbo Basic, Turbo C, and Turbo C++ to create mixed-language programs that combine assembly with high-level languages. It can also be used with Turbo Linker and Turbo Debugger to create and debug executable files.



  • TASM supports both Intel and ideal modes. It can assemble source code written in either Intel syntax or ideal syntax, which is an enhanced syntax that allows more flexibility and readability. TASM also supports both 16 bit and 32 bit modes, which means it can produce code for MS-DOS, Windows 3.x, Windows 95/98/ME, Windows NT/2000/XP, and Windows Vista/7/8/10.



  • TASM supports object-oriented programming. It can create classes, objects, methods, inheritance, polymorphism, and encapsulation using assembly language. It also supports interfaces, exceptions, constructors, destructors, virtual methods, and abstract methods.



  • TASM supports macros and directives. It can create macros that are sequences of instructions or statements that can be invoked by a single name. It can also use directives that are commands to the assembler that control how the source code is processed and assembled.



TASM alternatives and comparisons




TASM is not the only assembler available for software development on Windows. There are many other assemblers that have different features, syntaxes, outputs, platforms, and licenses. Here are some of them:



Assembler


Syntax


Output


Platform


License


MASM


Intel


COFF, OMF


16/32 bit MS-DOS/Windows


Proprietary


NASM


Intel/NASM


COFF, ELF, Mach-O, etc.


16/32/64 bit MS-DOS/Windows/Linux/Mac OS X/etc.


BSD-like


YASM


Intel/NASM/GAS/TASM/MASM


COFF, ELF, Mach-O, etc.


16/32/64 bit MS-DOS/Windows/Linux/Mac OS X/etc.


BSD-like


FASMFASMMZ, PE, COFF, ELF, etc.16/32/64 bit MS-DOS/Windows/Linux/etc.Public domainGASGAS (AT&T)COFF, ELF, Mach-O, etc.


16/32/64 bit MS-DOS/Windows/Linux/Mac OS X/etc.


GPL


As you can see, each assembler has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some are more compatible with TASM, while others are more versatile or portable. Some are more user-friendly, while others are more powerful or flexible. Some are free and open source, while others are proprietary or commercial. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can choose the assembler that suits you best.


Conclusion




In this article, we have learned how to download and install TASM on 64 bit Windows, how to use it to write and run assembly programs, what are the features and benefits of TASM, and how it compares with other assemblers. We have also seen some examples of simple "Hello World" programs in both 16 bit and 32 bit modes using TASM syntax.


TASM is a fast and reliable assembler that can produce code for MS-DOS and Windows. It is compatible with other Borland products and supports both Intel and ideal modes. It also supports object-oriented programming, macros, and directives. TASM is a great tool for learning or practicing assembly language programming on Windows.


However, TASM is not the only assembler available for Windows. There are many other assemblers that have different features, syntaxes, outputs, platforms, and licenses. You can choose the assembler that suits your needs and preferences best.


We hope that this article has been helpful and informative for you. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading!


FAQs




  • What is the difference between TASM and MASM?



TASM and MASM are both assemblers for software development on Windows. They have similar syntaxes and features, but they also have some differences. For example:


  • TASM is faster than MASM in assembling large and complex programs.



  • TASM supports both Intel and ideal modes, while MASM only supports Intel mode.



  • TASM supports object-oriented programming, while MASM does not.



  • TASM is bundled with Turbo Linker and Turbo Debugger, while MASM is bundled with Microsoft Visual Studio.



  • TASM is included with Delphi and C++Builder, while MASM is not.



  • How can I run TASM in full screen mode on Windows?



If you are using DOSBox to run TASM on Windows, you can switch to full screen mode by pressing Alt+Enter. To switch back to windowed mode, press Alt+Enter again. If you are using GUI Turbo Assembler (TASM) to run TASM on Windows, you can maximize the window by clicking on the maximize button or pressing F11.


  • How can I write object-oriented programs with TASM?



TASM supports object-oriented programming since version 3. You can use the .class directive to define a class with fields and methods. You can use the .method directive to define a method within a class. You can use the .virtual directive to define a virtual method that can be overridden by subclasses. You can use the .extends directive to define a subclass that inherits from a superclass. You can use the .this directive to refer to the current object within a method. You can use the new and delete operators to create and destroy objects dynamically.


  • How can I integrate TASM with other IDEs or editors?



If you want to use TASM with other IDEs or editors, you need to configure them to invoke TASM as an external tool or command. For example, if you want to use TASM with Visual Studio Code, you can follow these steps:


  • Open Visual Studio Code and go to File > Preferences > Settings.



  • Search for "tasks" and click on "Edit in settings.json".



  • Add the following code to the settings.json file:



"version": "2.0.0", "tasks": [ "label": "Tasm", "type": "shell", "command": "tasm /ml $file && tlink /Tpe /aa /c $fileBasenameNoExtension.obj kernel32.lib user32.lib", "group": "kind": "build", "isDefault": true , "problemMatcher": [] ]


  • Save the settings.json file and close Visual Studio Code.



  • Open your assembly file with Visual Studio Code and press Ctrl+Shift+B to build and run it with TASM.



You can also use other IDEs or editors that support external tools or commands, such as Notepad++, Sublime Text, Atom, etc. You just need to find the appropriate settings or options to configure them to use TASM.


  • Where can I find more resources or tutorials on TASM?



If you want to learn more ab


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