Continuous 50% CPU usage, 'System problem detected' reports

ThinkPad T440 - i7 4th gen. - 12 GB RAM - UM 18.04 fully patched

I have recently added a new USB drive to my system. An old drive has been removed. Other external drives have shifted their mount points. Everything is saved in a clean fstab file.

Every time I reboot I get 'System program problem detected' with a 'Send report' button. I send the report. I notice that now there is continuous CPU usage fluctuating between 40% and 60% mostly, sometimes spiking past 70%. Video rendering of 1080p by Kdenlive, for example, takes about 60% CPU on average. At the same time, disk usage monitor shows spikes to around 20% every few seconds.

When I look in the GUI system monitor it does not tell me the process responsible. It is normal for this system to be idle most of the time. It is not my cloud backup service, because I recognize its usage pattern of CPU, network and disks.

Any suggestions, anyone? Thanks!

To get rid of the 'System program problem detected' window, you probably want to empty the crash folder:

sudo rm /var/crash/*

To check processes for overly high CPU usage I use 'htop'

Because you mentioned it, i tried the GUI system monitor but the values seem to be way off and way too low, it needs sampling of at least a minute. It also seems to show only long term average so in this case it is practically useless.

You will get a much better picture of instantaneous cpu usage with 'top' or 'htop' .
Both are commandline utilities.
Both are pretty good in showing which processes eat the most CPU.
Both sort process entries on CPU usage (high to low) by default (but you can change that)
Top is included in the install but very spartan.
Htop is my favourite and only a 'sudo apt install htop' away.

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For CPU usage I will normally use htop, a text based (terminal) application. Just click on the CPU column to sort by CPU usage.

When I get system problems that send off reports I will use caja (the file manager) to go into:

File System -> var/crash

where I right click and select 'Open in Terminal'. In the terminal I erase all files with:

'sudo rm *'

I read somewhere that the files in that directory sometimes don't get uploaded and the system will try to re upload at the next boot up. I don't know if it's true or if it was once true but not now, but it seemed to work back when I learned of it, and I routinely clear out the directory now and then.

Hope this helps. Best of luck!

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It was enough to tell me what I needed to know. Thank you!

There were a handful of reports there, from Sep 5 to Sep 9. I deleted them, since 18.04 is EOL anyway I doubt the reports will get much attention. Thank you!