Question Memory lifespan , and related issues

13hm13

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Aug 14, 2013
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I have been running pretty much 24/7 a diy Windows XP-Sp2 PC since Feb 2004. The Asus mbd, Intel p4 cpu and Antec case are orig.

I think all the 1-GB memory sticks are orig (2004) -- 4 in total.

Everything else has been replaced -- hdd upgraded multiple times including a new 2tb WD ssd only 2 mos ago. I use top-quality parts, so reliability has been high.
Also use massive power conditioning, a top-quality Antec PSU, and (most important) always-on practice (no sleep or hibernate).
Lately, I have run into a random (but infrequent) bsod issue that may be memory related:
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/blue-screen-of-death-bsod-random-hard-to-troubleshoot.3639751/

For the past 48 hours, in order to isolate from a hdd/Win XP basis for issue, I've been running Linux Mint from a separate ssd, on same PC, and have not had any real issue. Except for a single lock up in Linux File Manager (browsing folders, etc). I had to close those via Task Mgr (similar to Windows). But it was a very minor inconvenience -- unlike Windows bsod.
Anyway, not sure that Linux issue and Win bsod are related????
I have not run MemTest86, but other memory tests reveal no detectable issues.
How long do memory stick last? What are some established clues as to problematic sticks?
 

ex_bubblehead

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Memory, like all things electronic, last until it fails. This could be 2 seconds after first power on or 20+ years down the road. There is no way to predict. However, on a 16 year old motherboard I'd lay odds that most, if not all, of the electrolytic capacitors require replacement. Not worth it on such an old machine.
 

13hm13

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Memory, like all things electronic, last until it fails. This could be 2 seconds after first power on or 20+ years down the road. There is no way to predict. However, on a 16 year old motherboard I'd lay odds that most, if not all, of the electrolytic capacitors require replacement. Not worth it on such an old machine.
But does memory fail catastrophically (all or nothing), on a continuum (infrequent faults --> more frequent faults), etc?
Yeah ... I've the thought about those electros for a while. I do visually check them for bulges or fluid leaks. They all LOOK "good".
It's worth keeping this PC alive because of its age and reliability. I may just re-cap ... and if that resolves issues, I'll retire it with the satisfaction that it can sleep in peace ;)
 

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