Install VisualMASM and the MASM32 SDK
Watch the video or follow the tutorial.
In this tutorial we will begin the x86 Assembler using MASM32 SDK series by installing the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) - VisualMASM that we are going to use for our assembler development. We will also install the MASM32 SDK. MASM stand for Microsoft Macro Assembler and is required for assembly programming. There are others assembler packages that you can use but I began with MASM and I am happy with it. I may try the others another time but for now we will be doing all of our assembler in MASM32. There is also a 64bit version of MASM but I will be concentrating on only 32bit assembler just now. So, let's get started.
First of all, open a webpage and go to www.visualmasm.com as below.
Scroll down page until you see the text - Run VisualMASMSetup.exe
Click "Save File" or your browsers equivalent.
Start install program once download is complete.
Click Run, if asked by the windows User Access Control if you want to run this app click Yes.
Unless you have a reason to change the installation location leave it as it is and press Next.
Again, probably best to leave this as the default and press Next.
Make your choice and press Next.
The program is now ready to be installed. Press Install.
I would uncheck the tickbox and start the program from the shortcut since I wouldn't want it opening with full admin rights, especially since I run a standard non-admin user account. Press Finish and start VisualMASM.
The first thing we have to do is tell VIsualMASM where the MASM32 SDK is located on your computer and I will work on the assumption that you have not installed it yet. There are two ways to do this. First, you can go to the MASM32 website and download a copy of the installer from the downloads section. It is just a zip file so once downloaded, unzip it and run the installer. Alternatively you can let VisualMASM install it for you, which we will do next, so press Next.
If you install the MASM32 SDK manually then the you would choose the second option here and then enter its location but we are going to have VisualMASM do it for us so select the first option and press Next.
If you want to you can download the Windows SDK which contains things that will help you build windows apps but to be honest you probably wont use it until you are quite far into assembler programming so for now you can just leave the options as they are and press Next
Once complete VisualMASM will install the MASM32 SDK.
If asked by the windows User Access Control if you want to run this app click Yes. Click Install.
It is ultimately your choice on which drive you install the MASM32 SDK but I always choose the C drive and it has never given me a problem so I would advise selecting C: once you made your selection press OK.
MASM32 will now build the SDK libraries, press OK.
Wait some more....
Installation success press any key to continue.
If you want a shortcut on your desktop to the MASM32 assembler editor then press Yes but since we are not going to use it you can safely press No.
This is the built-in default assembler editor that comes with MASM32 but since we are not going to be using it you can close it and forget about it.
VisualMASM should fill these in for you but just take a moment to make sure they are correct and then press Next. You only need to fill in the 32-bit section.
This section tells windows what program it should use to open the assembler files, you can just leave this section as it is and press Next.
Ok thats it done press close now to finish.
Congratulations VisualMASM and the MASM32 SDK are now installed and ready to use. In the next tutorial we will discuss the basics of assembler syntax and what actually goes on inside a computer when you use it, so until then, enjoy.