Ever since upgrading to Ubuntu 18 from 16 on my machine (2GB RAM) I am experiencing slowdowns of the system and freezes of the current program (Chrome, for example) whenever the physical RAM memory is maxed out and Ubuntu starts using swap.
I downgraded and installed Ubuntu 16 but the problem persisted.
I can hear the HHD 'grinding' when the problem happens. And so I created a swap partition on a USB disk on key, which I set to higher priority than the swap on the HHD. The problem persists.
I wanted to ask for guidance in diagnosing or fixing the problem.
P.S. there is 27GB of free space. SMART parameters AFAICT don't indicate a problem (except for 'old age')