If the following suggestions work, please let me know and you can Accept the answer (and if possible, leave positive feedback). If not, please DO NOT Accept the answer yet. Instead, let me know and we'll try some more things or I can refer you to another Expert who may be able to help you further.
Because you have 10.6.5 and AOL desktop was released years ago with no real updates getting it stable in Snow Leopard, this may be the main issue. For some reason, AOL has failed to move forward on the Mac platform. However, in October they did update their last known release for Tiger to 1.7. It still does not list as stable and compatible with Snow Leopard, but if you haven't done so already, I would suggest downloading and installing AOL Desktop 1.7 through the link below:http://daol.aol.com/software/desktop-for-mac/#g
I would also suggest you run some general maintenance on the computer. It is an obvious square-one approach when any program is giving you issues. I normally suggest this first because it is good practice plus if we dig too deep into a problem and simple measures could have repaired it in the beginning we'll be kicking ourselves later... This is going to be a long post so I suggest printing it out for your reference. Also, it will require a USB keyboard, not a wireless keyboard.
First let's reset the PRAM on the computer.
1) Shut down the computer.
2) While the computer is shut down, locate these keys: command (has an apple on it), option (sometimes called alt), P, and R.
3) Turn the computer on, then press and hold Command-Option-P-R before the gray screen appears.
4) Hold these keys down until you hear the startup sound a total of 3 times.
5) Release the keys.
Next, let's try a Safe Boot. This will perform several clean up procedures that may be affecting the machine's performance and startup as well as clear out any cache here as well.
1) Shut down your computer completely.
2) Start up the computer and immediately after the startup chime, press and hold the Shift key
3) Once the gray Apple and progress indicator appear, release the Shift key
4) Note: Startup will likely take substantially longer than normal (20 - 30 minutes is not unheard of)
5) You should have to login to your account, even if it normally does so automatically.
6) Shut down the computer.
Now let's check / repair the disk permissions. Although this doesn't fix all problems it is a great way to start when working on a machine, besides it often cleans up any other smaller problems you may or may not be experiencing.
1) Restart the machine.
2) Before you have opened any programs, go to Applications / Utilities / Disk Utility.
3) Click the "First Aid" tab at the top and run the "Repair Permissions" after selecting your Hard Drive from the list on the left.
4) Shut down the computer.
5) Restart and see if the problem persists. If so, I would suggest using Mail.app for your AOL email and Firefox or Safari for your browsing. At least until AOL updates their desktop application to be fully compatible with Snow Leopard.If I helped,
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