Sounds like you've gotten yourself pretty well infested with some nasty malware. A common occurrence among users of Internet Explorer, which is the favored target of malware creators. And as I understand it, AOL has started bundling more innocuous forms of spyware with it's instant messaging program.
Now that the likely source of the problem has been identified, step 2 is getting rid of it. This will be the fun part. You will likely need multiple malware removal programs, as well as having to disable system restore and spending a lot of time waiting for scans to complete in Safe Mode. Just be sure to update all the program definitions before rebooting.
You can avoid all that if you're willing to format. Often times formatting is faster and more effective with infestations as pervasive as yours sounds, but it's a decision you'll have to make for yourself.
Finally, step 3 involves preventing this from happening again. The following is just a general set of guidelines I suggest to people to help prevent this sort of thing from happening again. If you want an explanation of any of them, feel free to ask.
1: Do NOT use Internet Explorer or any browser based on Internet Explorer
2: Do NOT use ANY file sharing programs
3: Do NOT use ANY pirated programs
4: Do NOT use Outlook or Outlook Express (more to do with spam reduction)
5: DO install ALL of the latest Windows security updates
5a: The ONLY valid exception to guideline #1
5b: Windows Genuine Advantage "updates" can, and should, be excluded
Also, if you use AOL as an ISP, I'd suggest finding an alternative, but if it's just AOL instant messenger, consider switching to Gaim or Trillian instead.
If you wish to continue using IE for whatever reason, be sure to keep multiple malware prevention/removal tools handy, updated, and scan with them regularly. You're bound to need them eventually.
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