I launch the VM that I use for that purpose and find that my build scripts were gone along with binutils-2.35, it's a mystery to me how things could just disappear, also missing were some toolchains.
a new version of binutils had been released, v2.36, so why not build and use the latest ?, well FB built just fine but the x64 version would fail on the tests with the error
E:\dev108\520x64\fbc-master\bin\win64\ld.exe: warning: E:\dev108\520x64\fbc-master\lib\win64\fbextra.x contains output sections; did you forget -T?
./quirk/inline-asm.o:fake:(.text+0xc2): relocation truncated to fit: R_X86_64_32S against `.text'
make: *** [unit-tests.mk:178: build_tests] Error 1
so I install the missing toolchain with gcc 8.3 from Equation Solution and then I get this error
C:\msys64\mingw64\bin\ar.exe: src/rtlib/ob: No such file or directory
make: *** [makefile:640: lib/freebasic/win64/libfb.a] Error 1
it took me a while to remember that the make.exe that comes from Equation Solution is buggy so deleting it solves the problem because then the shell will use the msys2 make
reverting to binutils-2.35 solves the problem with the tests