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Author Topic: Lost Savings Wallet Addresses?!  (Read 13370 times)
Neopallium
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June 02, 2011, 10:55:11 AM
 #21

You might try slaving your hard drive to a second computer and using some file recovery software to try to recover the wallet.dat.  Of course, I would advise immediately ceasing use of the computer (just powering it off with the power button would be better than shutting down, lest the wallet file be overwritten by some files that are written during shutdown).  A decent piece of software might cost $50.

If that doesn't work, there are professional labs that will read the actual data on the disk, if it hasn't already been overwritten.  A decent lab would cost $1000 or so.  Don't cheap out on this if you try it.  I did, and I regret it, a lot.

And beyond that, if you use a mechanical hard drive, forensics labs can actually tell what bits were written to a given sector BEFORE the current bits, because the previous bits leave some sort of magnetic bias behind.  That's why military erasing standards dictate that a drive must be overwritten 7 times with random bits before the data that was on it is considered securely erased.  I have no idea what it might cost to get a forensics expert to look at your drive though.

Unfortunately, I securely deleted the plain text wallet before I realized there was an issue, so it was probably overwritten many times with random bits.  I was basically following the steps I found in a thread describing how to create a secure savings wallet.   Cry

Even if you can't recover the Private-key for the receiving address, keep both your wallet backups safe and don't give-up and delete them.  The BTCs might still be unclaimed by the address that you lost, maybe in the future the network rules will be changed to allow old (1 year, 6 months) unclaimed transactions to be reversed.  I really think this should be possible.  It will require a change to most of the bitcoin clients on the network before any block containing a "return unclaimed BTCs" transaction will be accepted.

Lookup the sending/receiving address on http://blockexplorer.com/ and find the transaction/block that contains the lost BTCs.

Also I think that new wallets should default to returning change back to the sending address, let people that want anonymous transactions to change to the current method of sending change to a new address.


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endian7000
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June 08, 2011, 12:28:21 AM
 #22

Holy crap, that's horrible! My condolences!

Perhaps next-gen clients should be much more explicit about key management...

Meanwhile, perhaps you'd prefer something tangible and easily modeled like https://github.com/bitcoin-labs/paper-keys
MoonShadow
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June 08, 2011, 12:31:29 AM
 #23

Hang on to your broken wallet.dat data.  Protect it as much as you would if it were not broken.  I lost 62 bitcoins in an experiment involving a thumbdrive back in November, but only recently was motivated to attempt to fix it.  They can be repaired by the right skillset.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
nemo
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June 08, 2011, 12:54:21 AM
 #24

Jeez fuckin' louise. That's probably up there with accidently running over your own pet. I hope the grief doesn't ruin you.
neoteric
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June 08, 2011, 02:56:42 PM
 #25

absolutely try drive recovery.  There are some linux tools that recovered a very important file for me.  Now, it was a windows file that I had accidentally deleted.  I did not securely erase it.  But I would absolutely try to recover it. 
hashme
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June 08, 2011, 08:58:07 PM
 #26

Dude, don't give up! Few days ago I thinked that I've lost my wallet, because I saw 0\confirmations on it after, but after several attempts (rescans/ reloading/ ...) i've got my coins back.
First of all make reserve copies of hd.
Then as it already was said -make low level recovering.
I sincerely wish you good luck & not to to lose heart!
Sometimes when your're not in optimistic conditions, your brain gives you bad, but wrong explanations of your issues. Just resist & go on! I think You'll get ALL your savings BACK in several days!

I pay back 50% commissions to my referrals
https://www.okcoin.com/?invid=2013370
Fair sites only.
SgtSpike
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June 08, 2011, 11:48:48 PM
 #27

I can confirm, newly crated wallet shows as having only one key pair with dbdump.py.

I also had a problem where I lost a few bitcoins that were sent to a new address, when restoring the wallet from backup (the difference was the last transaction only).

Thanks for confirming.  This makes me very depressed.  Everything I had read made me believe that 100 pre-generated addresses were created for new wallets.

If I re-open the Bitcoin application with this wallet.dat, wait for it to show my 0.02 BTC transaction, then quit Bitcoin, I can use dbdump.py to see that it now has 100 addresses.  However, none of them are the addresses where I transferred all my savings.  I guess the pool of 100 addresses isn't created until a transaction is completed.  We should update the Wiki to clarify this.  I would edit the Wiki myself, but I'm busy contemplating jumping out a window in despair.

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Name:   Sad Puppy
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aBitcoiner
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June 09, 2011, 02:58:53 AM
 #28

Lets do some calculation shall we?
7,208BTC * 30USD/BTC = 216,240USD
Perhaps having the goddamn drive taken open in a clean room isn't that extreme.
I have recovered files before with the program mentioned earlier in the thread, but secure delete screwed that idea over.
It is theoretically possible to recover even overwritten files, though no one has ever demonstrated it being done. But if the German military really could do it, they wouldn't be too keen on publishing a how to on it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_recovery#Overwritten_data
The possibility of one day recovering that many BitCoins, worth potentially even more later than they are now, would be enough for me to buy a new hard drive and put the old one in a drawer. Even if BitCoins fell to .5USD/BTC it would still be worth way more than a new HD.
Shuffle
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June 09, 2011, 03:23:48 AM
 #29

Here i come to save the day

Download this and burn it to a CD
http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/

when its on the CD make your computer boot from the CD

Stuff will pop on the screen and it will give you an option to boot mini xp, do that

there will be a little symbol in the taskbar in the bottom right right click on it and locate the recovery tools

run whatever one sounds like it would work the best, Restoration 3.2.13 would be my first choice but if that doesnt work or isnt there just try the next one untill you get a good one

You should look in the ~/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin/ folder

Profit like mad if it works and share a small portion of the wealth with me Tongue
EconomicOracle
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I can predict the future! Bitcoin will success!!!!


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June 24, 2011, 05:09:58 AM
 #30

Natural Selection. You did not trust in your bitcoins and that's why you deleted your wallet. You do not believe in BTC and that is a problem.

GOOOOOOOOOOO BITCOINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Edit: Oops. Just fixed a typo. It should be GO (like GO TEAM!) and not GOOB
Edit2: Just checked the dictionary and goob is not a word
MoonShadow
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June 24, 2011, 06:43:01 PM
 #31

I think I just managed to lose a large number of BTC.  Here's what happened:

1. I had a wallet with all my BTC.  I quit Bitcoin (version 0.3.21) and renamed the entire Bitcoin directory Bitcoin-checking.
2. I re-opened Bitcoin, which created a new Bitcoin directory and downloaded all the blocks again.
3. I copied the address shown, quit Bitcoin, renamed this directory Bitcoin-savings, encrypted it as Bitcoin-savings-encrypted, and saved it in multiple remote locations.
4. I renamed Bitcoin-checking to Bitcoin, then restarted the Bitcoin application.
5. I sent 0.02 BTC to the address from step 3.
6. I quit Bitcoin and renamed the Bitcoin directory to Bitcoin-checking.
7. I unencrypted a copy of Bitcoin-savings-encrypted, renamed the directory to Bitcoin, and restarted the Bitcoin application.
8. My 0.02 BTC showed up in this savings wallet.
9. I copied another address, quit Bitcoin again, renamed the directory as Bitcoin-savings, swapped in Bitcoin-checking and sent lots of BTC to this new savings address.
10. I never updated the Bitcoin-savings-encrypted file after step 3, because I thought the wallet automatically contained 100 pre-generated addresses to start.
11. I securely deleted my unencrypted Bitcoin-savings directory with multiple passes.
12. Later I unencrypted a copy of the Bitcoin-savings-encrypted directory, renamed it Bitcoin, opened the Bitcoin app, and only my original 0.02 BTC are shown even after all the new blocks are downloaded.

So it looks like I lost all the BTC I transferred to my savings wallet!  I downloaded bitcointools from here:
https://github.com/gavinandresen/bitcointools
and viewed the contents of my savings wallet.dat from Bitcoin-savings-encrypted with this command:
python dbdump.py --wallet

The output only shows a single PubKey and PrivKey pair (where I sent 0.02 BTC).  It also shows two lines that say "Unknown key type: bestblock".

I was under the impression that wallets automatically have 100 pre-generated keys as soon as the wallet is created as mentioned here:
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Securing_your_wallet

So why did my savings wallet that I encrypted in step 3 only have a single address?  I clearly completely screwed up by not updating Bitcoin-savings-encrypted after the large transfers, but I thought I only needed to do that after 100 keys had been used for 100 transactions.  What went wrong?  When does the Bitcoin application actually create those 100 queued keys?  Does it only created the pool of pre-generated keys after the first address is actually used?

- Very Sad Puppy

Something else here happended.  You don't need more than one address if all you are doing is sending more money to that address.  You only need more than one to send money.  Did you try to send any money?

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
neoteric
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June 25, 2011, 01:12:41 PM
 #32

how goes your recovery efforts?  Wishing you the best.
bizzy
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August 15, 2011, 01:27:12 AM
 #33

Anyone know how to see if the 7208BTC mentioned appears in the block chain at around the date of the original post?
Maged
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August 15, 2011, 02:24:36 AM
 #34

The sad part about this story is that, even though he securely deleted the wallet, we now know that there's most likely still some remnant there that can be recovered with today's wallet recovery technology. Only a full wipe of a drive can permanently destroy a wallet.

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