Applications folder duplicated

Nov 18, 2011
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I got a message there was insufficient room on my harddrive to download a movie rental from iStore. I discovered my Applications folder had duplicated itself 32 times. I went to the the last duplicated folder and deleted it. Then discovered I had deleted all my applications :Oops: Now I'm trying to copy my applications from an external harddrive to the Mac, and am told there is insufficent space on the harddrive.

1. what happened?
2. how do I fix it?
3. how do I stop the duplication happening again?

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