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Author Topic: Removing wallet.dat  (Read 565 times)
soy
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March 19, 2013, 02:07:13 PM
 #1

Okay, I understand one should make a backup of wallet.dat and wallet.dat can be encrypted. But, can one move wallet.dat onto a flash drive and continue to have Bitcoin maintain its blockchain without a wallet.dat on the system?  And then, when one wants to do a transaction, copy the wallet.dat back to the Bitcoin directory, shutdown and restart the program so as to do the transaction?  Asking is safer than experimenting I think.

Best regards,

soy



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March 19, 2013, 02:25:15 PM
 #2

Yes, the wallet.dat is independent from the blockchain file. When removing it, the client will automatically create a new one. You can just copy over your backup later (you might have to rescan though).

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March 19, 2013, 02:26:59 PM
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A new wallet.dat will be created and it will maintain the blockchain. But if you don't use the address(es) of the new wallet.dat you can just delete the new wallet.dat and replace it with the old one if you want to make a transaction. Off course you have to close the program before you mess around with the files.

But with the new update you don't have to maintain the blockchain because it downloads the missing blocks much faster  Huh

Way too late..
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March 19, 2013, 03:10:04 PM
 #4

Thanks.  Knowing that wallet.dat arguably could be copied by someone hacking my home network, or even copied by a burglar and later hacked makes me uneasy.  Making multiple copies on various media and removing it from the system seems best.

So, shutting down Bitcoin-QT and copying the encrypted wallet.dat to say a flash drive and another copy to a 1.44 disc and/or CD or DVD then deleting the wallet.dat and restarting Bitcoin-QT will create a new empty wallet.dat.  This will then scan the blockchain and sync up.  Bitcoin-QT with its new wallet.dat will have a new address for receiving BTC.  When I want to access the wallet.dat with most of the BTC, I would move any that accumulated in the new wallet.dat to another machine, shut down Bitcoin-QT, delete wallet.dat, copy the valuable wallet.dat into the Bitcoin directory, restart and let sync and see my BTC as had been saved and accessible with the encrypted password.

Does this mean that I don't have to use the same machine?  Having Bitcoin-QT running on multiple machines, can I take the saved wallet.dat and open it with ANY machine running the same version of Bitcoin-QT?  And if it wasn't encrypted, could that burglar with a copy of wallet.dat open it on any machine with Bitcoin-QT and shoot the money over to silkroad or something?

Thanks,

Best regards,

soy



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March 19, 2013, 03:19:06 PM
 #5

Quote
Does this mean that I don't have to use the same machine?
No, why? The wallet is just that, a wallet. It contains the private key. If you put the wallet.dat in the roaming/bitcoin folder and then you start bitcoin-qt, it will read that wallet and let you use it.

Quote
Having Bitcoin-QT running on multiple machines, can I take the saved wallet.dat and open it with ANY machine running the same version of Bitcoin-QT?
Of course yes

Quote
And if it wasn't encrypted, could that burglar with a copy of wallet.dat open it on any machine with Bitcoin-QT and shoot the money over to silkroad or something?
Yes
The wallet.dat file contains the private keys, if they aren't encrypted and someone steal them, of course they will have them and will be able to do what they want with your bitcoins
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March 20, 2013, 06:27:10 PM
 #6

Okay, I'm presently reindexing after upgrading Bitcoin-QT.  What happens if BTC are sent to an address of the wallet while it's out of sync?  How long can a transaction remain unconfirmed?



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March 20, 2013, 06:54:38 PM
 #7

Quote
Does this mean that I don't have to use the same machine?
No, why? The wallet is just that, a wallet. It contains the private key. If you put the wallet.dat in the roaming/bitcoin folder and then you start bitcoin-qt, it will read that wallet and let you use it.

Quote
Having Bitcoin-QT running on multiple machines, can I take the saved wallet.dat and open it with ANY machine running the same version of Bitcoin-QT?
Of course yes

Quote
And if it wasn't encrypted, could that burglar with a copy of wallet.dat open it on any machine with Bitcoin-QT and shoot the money over to silkroad or something?
Yes
The wallet.dat file contains the private keys, if they aren't encrypted and someone steal them, of course they will have them and will be able to do what they want with your bitcoins

Thanks for the explanation.
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March 20, 2013, 06:58:57 PM
 #8

Okay, I'm presently reindexing after upgrading Bitcoin-QT.  What happens if BTC are sent to an address of the wallet while it's out of sync?  How long can a transaction remain unconfirmed?

The Bitcoins will be sent to your address and will be confirmed by miners once every 10 minutes or so as usual. Syncing only allows your client to see the transaction and confirmations that already exist on the network.

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