TASM 5 Intel 8086 Turbo Assembler Download

A current version of TASM (Turbo Assembler) is rather hard to come by on the Web. Below is a .zip file you can download that is ready-to-go with TASM 5. I promise it worked for me for a whole semester, and I never had complaints about it.

It is very simple to use:

  1. Don’t be deterred by the number of files in the zip – you only need two (yes, 2!)
  2. Give it your code: Look in the BIN directory, okay now put your .asm file in there
  3. Compile your code: Run tasm /l /zi your_file.asm, but replace “your_file” with the name of your .asm file
  4. Link your code: Run tlink /v your_file.obj io.obj, and replace “your_file” with the same name you used in step 3
  5. Run your code: Run your_file.exe, and again replace “your_file” with the same name

So to summarize, here is a sample use of TASM:

tasm /l /zi hello_world.asm
tlink /v hello_world.obj io.obj


It is best if you run TASM close to the root of your hard drive, so don’t put it in your “My Documents” folder, since it has spaces and is very long. In fact, after you download and unzip the file below, you can just drop the TASM folder straight into your C drive and it will work well. That’s in XP or earlier.

Okay, so how about running this in Vista or Windows 7? How about on a Mac? The key with Vista is that nobody, not even administrators, has direct access to the command line. The result is that no one I know has had success running TASM in Vista. You will need to install XP or earlier in a virtual machine and run it in there. Windows 7 may be simpler in that some variants contain a Windows XP VM already, so you might be able to run TASM in XP Mode.  I really can’t say since I haven’t tried.

As for a Mac, I can say there is a very nice solution that doesn’t require wasting tons of system resources on a virtual machine. A dab of Google solves everything :) In this case, there is a nice bit of freeware called Boxer, which is a simple DOS emulator that most people use to play their favourite old games. Read the documentation and you should be up and running in no time. Boxer runs well under Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) and Snow Leopard (10.6).

Good luck! Let me know how it worked for you in the comments.

Update (Dec 2012)

Today I wanted to get a Hello World example running just to make sure that this copy of TASM still works on Windows 7. My PC is a quad-core machine running Windows 7 Professional SP1 with 6GB of RAM, so let’s say just a bit more than the typical computer that used an 8086 processor :)

For DOSBox I visited the DOSBox download page, and got a copy of the latest version for Windows (when I looked it was 0.74). Then I installed it to the default location suggested by the installer (“C:\Program Files (x86)\DOSBox-0.74”). Next I downloaded tasm.zip from the link at the bottom of this post, unzipped it, and placed it at the root of my drive (“C:\tasm”).

At this point, who knows what will happen – all I’ve done is a bit of set-up.

Okay, now I ran DOSBox using the shortcut it created in my Start menu, and used its built-in advice on how to mount a directory as a drive letter.

Z:\>intro mount


It seems that I will want to mount “C:\tasm” as my drive letter C so that DOSBox will see tasm.exe at “C:\bin\tasm.exe”, and we can move on.

Z:\>mount c c:\tasm\


DOSBox should confirm the action by responding “Drive C is mounted as local directory c:\tasm\”. Good! I found a Hello World program online at Programmers Heaven. Don’t forget to follow the instructions given by “atcl” on that page…you need to edit the code by adding a “.startup” line just after the existing “.CODE” line. The file should be named “hello.asm” and should now look like this:

.MODEL small
.STACK 100h
HelloMessage DB ‘Hello, world’,13,10,’$’
mov ax,@data
mov ds,ax
mov ah,9
mov dx,OFFSET HelloMessage
int 21h
mov ah,4ch
int 21h


The next step is to compile the code, link it, then execute it. Note: the first command uses a “/l” – that is a lowercase L, not the number 1! Another note: my website automatically uses “smart quotes” that will not compile correctly, so you will have to manually edit the line containing “Hello, world” to use normal straight quotes in all four cases. Thanks to “codex” in the comments for noticing that!

C:\>cd bin
C:\BIN>tasm /l /zi hello.asm


The compiler should tell you that is finished with zero error messages and zero warning messages.

C:\BIN>tlink /v hello.obj io.obj


There should be no bad things printed out here either. Alright, now we have an executable program file and we can run it!



You should now see the fruit of our work: the line “Hello, world” should appear. All done!

TASM Download Link

Download TASM 5: tasm.zip (8.1 MB)

Download Hello World source: hello.txt (rename to hello.asm after downloading)

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  • Argathron

    Hey, thank you for the download! You can also use it on Vista, by downloading Dosbox, a free Dos emulator.

    • Sundous Hussien

      Hey Guys , 

      Any ideas how can I have TASM running Under linux , any help would be highly Appreciated . 

      • Alex Kwiatkowski

        Sounds to me like NASM is the way to go for you. See this article written on the subject.

      • TheGuyNextDoor

        Try WINE a windows emulator
        i havent but i have tried running
        some games like doom3 and
        it runs perfect

  • Anonymous

    Going to try on windows 7…

  • xqoid

    how do i use dosbox to work it on windows 7?

    • Alex Kwiatkowski

      Hi, as far as I can tell from searching online, DOSBox version 0.74 is fully compatible with Windows 7. I have not tested it personally, but if you get something working, please share your experience with the rest of us!

  • kalpesh

    is it work on windows 7 64-bit??????????

  • Rohit

    Worked fine for me…
    I used TASM with dosbox 0.74…

    Thanx a lot :)

    • Rohit

      on windows 7 64-bit

      • Bienvenue Moualé

        Mon système d’exploitation est Windows 7 64 bits. Et je veux telecharger Turbo Assambler(tasm) depuis longtemps , mais je ne parviens pas. S’il vous plait aidez moi, parceque c’est vraiment pour moi. Il faut que je parviennesn à telecharger ce language

  • sanju das

    can anyone please mail me why i can’t work with TASM in windows 7

  • Anonymous

    you have to use dosbox for it ….and it is freeware just download it…

  • Anonymous

    you have to use dosbox to run it on windows 7

  • antos maman

    very good ……..very usefull…..

  • Gary

    This is TASM 4.1, not 5.

    • Alex Kwiatkowski

      What makes you say that? I just checked and the readme file in the zip is for version 5.

      • Jayson

        Thank You so much Alex! But I have a question.

        everytme i try to run my asm files, an error always occur on tlink. See below.

        C:\JASM2>tlink test01.asm
        Turbo Link Version 5.1 Copyright (c) 1992 Borland International
        Fatal: Bad object file record in test01.asm near module file offset 0x00000000

        Can you help me please?

        • rithvik

          @jayson.. dude its tlink filename.obj

        • Alex Kwiatkowski

          That is possibly because tlink is not meant to be given a .asm file. You need to run tasm on your .asm file, then run tlink on the .obj file that tasm creates for you.

          See a thread on another site that discusses the issue.


  • lagamata

    hi, i am new to assembly language and i am using windows 7 64 bits.
    i’m trying to program basic ones but command prompt does not recognize “debug” command. What should i do?
    thank you in advance

    • Alex Kwiatkowski

      Unfortunately I guess the zip doesn’t contain the DEBUG executable at all. I just checked and I saw TASM and TLINK, but no DEBUG. Perhaps it can be found somewhere else, good luck!

  • http://vwani49@yahoo.com Vikas

    thank you … it is very good… :)

  • hassan

    thank you

  • Chandan

    how to run .asm file after copying it to BIN directory
    i m not able to run any .asm file after downloading it
    plz suggest steps

  • ankit kapopara

    TASM not working in windows 7 home basic 64bit…… plz help me….

    • faizan ahmad

      u should reapear the window

  • RAJU

    thank u..working fine for me.. :)

  • priyanka

    ‘edit’ is not recognized as an internal or external commands operable program or batch file

    • Alex Kwiatkowski

      Hi priyanka,

      As mentioned in this Yahoo! Answers page, the edit command is no longer available in Windows but you can use Notepad instead.

      Best of luck!

  • ahsan

    very nicely explained, thanx…
    ahsan 4rm multan, pakistan.

  • M.C

    This works well on Linux with Dosbox. Thanks!

  • ashwin

    after downloading this tasm 5 when i’m installing, it gives me a message “too many subdirectories: press esc” after pressing esc key the process terminates. plz help me.

    • Alex Kwiatkowski

      I’m not sure, but I might try creating a new partition on my hard drive and installing on that. That way tasm will only see a blank partition. I’m curious why you want to install tasm, though, is that somehow better than just running tasm without installing it?

  • ashwin

    how i can run tasm without installing it?? i have no idea..
    i tried tasm on dosbox also but some commands like td was not working there.. suggest another version or another software. i’m familiar with masm.

  • Roma Fayaz

    I downloaded Dosbox and Tasm but I am not able to configure them. Please, explain step by step how to get things done once I have downloaded tlink.exe, tasm.exe and dosbox. I am not getting the things clearly. I am using windows 7.

    • Alex Kwiatkowski

      Hi Roma, I just updated the article to address how to run TASM on Windows 7. I hope it helps you!

  • coolestguy

    hey admin…can u pls upload the link of dosbox for windows 7…

    • Alex Kwiatkowski

      Hi, thanks for stopping by. Please have a look at the updated section in the article that I have added to demonstrate how to run TASM on Windows 7. Good luck, and let me know if any problems show up for you.

  • hamid irani

    no i,m speak english
    error :immediate operand not allowed
    tank yoy

  • moonhint

    why there is 1 error message (**error** hello.asm(4) undefined symbol: HELLO)

    pliz help…

    • Anonymous

      It’s “HelloMessage” without “”

  • codex

    because you copy and paste …. need change characters ” “

    • Alex Kwiatkowski

      Thank you for picking up on this! Unfortunately my website’s editor automatically forces the smart quotes, and I can’t remove them. I have added a small section to the article warning about this issue, though.

  • Naveen

    excellent job on ur part itz wrkng on my xp…
    u didnt mention “debug” in the example program code for xp….

  • Anonymous

    thanxxxx dude so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Jan Girke

    Hi Mr. Alex Kwiatkowski

    This file win32asm.exe seems to be purged from my Internet connection do you have it?
    If yes please send it to me.
    The file there seems to be broken.


    PS: Alternatively you can teach me ASM if you feel like it :)

    • Alex Kwiatkowski

      Hi, the tasm.exe in the .zip file at the end of this article may work in lieu of that win32asm.exe – give it a try. Sorry but I don’t have any files other than what are in that .zip.

  • Ashwin

    Helped me a lot .
    Thanks a lot !!
    Keep up the good work. :)

  • Prof

    when i type command “tlink myfile.obj” go on this error:

    stub error (2003): can’t find dpmi16bi.ovl

    Which is the problem?

    Thanks a lot

    • Alex Kwiatkowski

      Do you see this error when running the sample code from the article, or other custom code?

      I really don’t have enough experience with this stuff to help directly. The best I can do is link to a Stack Overflow question “Turbo linker error 2003 on dosbox” about exactly that error.

      It sounds like there’s a possibility that this particular version/copy of TLINK requires other libraries that aren’t included. Post again if you find a way to get past that error. Best of luck!

  • krishna patel

    how i can run tasm without installing it?? i have no idea.. plzzz help me….

  • john michael lubiano borja

    how to install this one on w7 x86?

  • satish

    excellent job. this helped me thnks…

  • shivkumar

    while installing tasm it is showing an error “too many subdirectries”, any solutions for it?

    • Alex Kwiatkowski

      Yes good news, that can be fixed by placing the tasm directory in the root of your drive. If you place it on your desktop or in your documents, for example, then you will see that error. Just move it to C:\ and try running it again.

  • gayatri

    which two files to be selected from the downloaded zip folder?

    • Alex Kwiatkowski

      Hi, just tasm and tlink will be enough to run the basic example in this post. You may need more depending on what you are trying to do.

  • Anonymous

    i cant use this software

  • shafeena

    i cant create program using this software. ialso completed installation.please mention complete step with eg program

  • yash

    At last I got what i wanted, was getting tired by searching everywhere n getting unwanted compilers and works without any problem…thank u so much :)