I am having a new problem with an older laptop and need some advice.
When running a virus scan (Avira free edition and Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware) I get the BSOD. Now I'm not sure that it is because of a sneeky virus that's causeing the computer to shut-down and restart, because it also happen when I did a search for a file it caused it to happen again. Then a second time. As a test, I ran a search for a file that I just made up and nothing happened. Then I did it again for another non-existing file and no blue screen. So I up-dated to a new version of Avira, from ver. to and reran the virus check and after about 20 mins. of the scan, I got the blue screen.
What I would like to know is: how do I read the blue screen to try and understand what it's reporting as to the cause or the error message, when it only lasts a fraction of a second before it goes black and reboots?
May there be a hardware problem with the motherboard or another malfunctioning part that can cause the BSOD?
Any help would be appreciated!


apparently you're getting in to the system and there's a switch that prevents a auto reboot.
For XP and possibly other OS's: Control Panel > System properties > Startup and recovery

clear the box under "Automaticaly Restart".

If you can access your dmp files by pulling/Mounting the HD on another PC or WinPE, XPE boot... try reading them with BlueScreenView (http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.html)

BlueScreenView scans all your minidump files created during 'blue screen of death' crashes, and displays the information about all crashes in one table. For each crash, BlueScreenView displays the minidump filename, the date/time of the crash, the basic crash information displayed in the blue screen (Bug Check Code and 4 parameters), and the details of the driver or module that possibly caused the crash (filename, product name, file description, and file version).

In the upper pane, you can view the details of the device drivers loaded during the crash in the lower pane. BlueScreenView also mark the drivers that their addresses found in the crash stack, so you can easily locate the suspected drivers that possibly caused the crash.

DL> http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/bluescreenview.zip

Good Luck!