You're welcome, I just wish I could help more.
Ok. Now I understand what you're trying to do with those machines and I gotta say, that's a pretty neat idea
You can test and trash the system, without trashing the system so to speak hehe.
- most of your logs will be in /var/log.
- what I'd look at first is syslog, entries are dated and time-stamped so it SHOULD be easy to spot what was there right before the crash...you might see errors there which you can then google for (VERY effective when you see an error you don't understand) or post here if google doesn't help you.
- messages is also another file which might have something...
Anyway...its a good idea, as a newbie to poke around in that directory and look at the logs a bit...familiarize yourself. So if the two above don't do it (and I'm not 100% sure you'll find something) some clue might be in another log.