Microsoft KB Archive/57931

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EXE Does Nothing If BC.EXE Compiled from GW-Basic Binary Code

Article ID: 57931

Article Last Modified on 11/21/2006


  • Microsoft QuickBasic 4.0
  • Microsoft QuickBASIC 4.0b
  • Microsoft QuickBasic 4.5 for MS-DOS
  • Microsoft BASIC Compiler 6.0
  • Microsoft BASIC Compiler 6.0b
  • Microsoft BASIC Professional Development System 7.0
  • Microsoft BASIC Professional Development System 7.1

This article was previously published under Q57931


Programs saved in the Binary (the default tokenized) format in the GW-Basic or BasicA Interpreter will appear to compile in BC.EXE and LINK into an .EXE program without error in the Basic compilers listed further below. However, the resulting .EXE file created from a Binary GW-Basic or BasicA source program does nothing when run -- it just drops back to DOS.

The BC.EXE compiler fails to abort and give an error message when you mistakenly give it GW-Basic or BasicA Binary files.


To correctly create an EXE file from a GW-Basic or BasicA program, it must first be saved in ASCII (text) format in the GWBasic.EXE or BasicA.EXE editor. The following GW-Basic or BasicA statement will save TEST.BAS in ASCII format:


Binary format is the default SAVE format in BasicA and GW-Basic; thus, you must explicitly save with the A (ASCII) option before BC.EXE can handle the source file.

BasicA is an interpreter shipped in the ROM of some IBM and COMPAQ computers. Microsoft GW-Basic Interpreter is shipped with some versions of DOS, depending upon the hardware vendor or the version of MS-DOS.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a bug in Microsoft Basic Compiler versions 6.00 and 6.00b; in Microsoft Basic Professional Development System (PDS) versions 7.00 and 7.10; and in Microsoft QuickBasic versions 4.00, 4.00b, and 4.50 (buglist4.00, buglist4.00b, buglist4.50). We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.

Additional query words: QuickBas BasicCom buglist6.00 buglist6.00b buglist7.00 buglist7.10

Keywords: KB57931