AOL v9 states in the small print that 128MB is prefered. I would run a tool called CCleaner, check for virus infection, make sure all phone sockets where you plug something in has a Micro Filter.
Back onto AOL S/ware it says that if the memory is lower than 128MB then an older version V.7 will install
Sounds like AOL software has done it again and possbily started some thing. Fully remove all AOL using the Add/Remove programmes. Clean away unwanted software prog's using the Add/Remove then re-install. if this again causes prob's you will need to upgrade the memory to 128 minimum or install V7 software.