Configuring MASM 6.11 on your home computer

People seem to have a difficult time installing MASM 6.11 on their home computers. Here are a few suggestions that you need to follow. These are from the Getting Started manual that comes with the documentation for MASM 6.11. It is the very thin manual, but the most important. But who reads manuals?????

Installing Device Drivers

If you are running MASM6.11 from Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, then you will need to add the following line to your SYSTEM.INI file. This file should be located in your Windows directory. Alternatively, you can run the program sysedit, this will bring up all your system files (In Win95: Start, Run..., sysedit; in Win3.1: File, Run, sysedit).

You should verify that the files that you are adding in the DEVICE statements are on your system. Use Windows Explorer to look into the BIN and BINR directories and verify that each of these files exists and is in the correct directory. Make any modifications to the statements to agree with where the files are located on your system. If a file does not exist, then do not include that DEVICE statement in SYSTEM.INI.

;  Add these lines to the [386Enh] section of the SYSTEM.INI file in

; your Windows directory.  The changes will not take effect until
; you exit and restart Windows.
; If your SYSTEM.INI file already contains DEVICE= statements with
; the same filenames, replace the old DEVICE= statements with the ones
; shown here.  Windows 3.x will not run if the SYSTEM.INI file contains
; more than one DEVICE= statements for a single driver.
; If your SYSTEM.INI file contains a DEVICE= statement for CV1.386,
; a driver which is no longer necessary, Windows 3.x will not run.
; Remove the DEVICE=CV1.386 statement to solve this problem.

Setting Environment Variables

Regardless of which operating system you are using, you must have certain environment variables set in order for MASM 6.11 to work properly. There are three methods for doing this:

One method is to permanently change the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. To do this, add the following lines to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file located in the root directory of you C: drive.

Running MASM 6.11 from a batch file
The other method is to leave AUTOEXEC.BAT alone, but to always run the Programmer's Workbench from a batch file. Create a text file named run-pwb.bat containing the following lines:


Whenever you want to run the Programmer's Workbench, then run this batch file.
Running a batch file to set the environment variables
When you install MASM 6.11, a file named NEW-VARS.BAT is created in the BINR directory. It is possible to run this command from a DOS prompt, then you will have access to all the commands you need: MASM, ML, CV, DEBUG.

Running Out of Environment Space

The information that you add to the AUTOEXEC.BAT file or to the .BAT file that you create to run PWB takes a lot of environment space. The default size of the environment is 256 bytes. This usually is not enough for all the variables that are being set. So, if you ever get an error message that says

Out of environment space

Then add the following line to the CONFIG.SYS file:

shell=c:\ /e:1024 /p

The /e:1024 will give you 1024 bytes of environment space, if that isn't enough then try 2048. The /p indicates that COMMAND.COM should remain loaded and that AUTOEXEC.BAT should be executed.

DOS Installation Only

If you are trying to run MASM 6.11  from DOS, then you should make the following changes to your config.sys file. If you are running from Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 then you won't need to add these lines. If you install MASM 6.11 on a drive other than C: or in a directory other than MASM611, then you will need to make the appropriate changes below.

device = C:\MASM611\BIN\emm386.exe 8192 RAM
REM Use the following line to run CodeView without Windows or 386MAX loaded.
REM device = C:\MASM611\BIN\emm386.exe 2048 RAM