I had the exact same problem as you. (I am with AOl and also had microsoft problems crashing!!
against my earlier better judgement I decided to instal SP2 (I had heard it caused sooo many problems for so many users I had l held off installing it) my logic was I had auto updates installed and thought that some of them may be referring to SP2 which wasn't there..
so I bit the bullet and installed SP2.. Hey presto AOL worked great.... no disconnects since Three weeks and no probs with Microsoft products....Wish I had done so sooner!!!! No more unstable system!!!If you have not installed SP2 go for it jack