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Author Topic: wallet.dat import and gray hairs.  (Read 1113 times)
rebuilder (OP)
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April 26, 2013, 11:08:06 PM

First off, no BTC were lost, nor were at risk of being lost, just so we're clear.

Today, I decided to move my remaining bitcoins from an old wallet to some paper wallets I'd generated. My local copy of the blockchain was way out of date, so I decided to just import the wallet.dat into a wallet. The import appeared successful, except the final balance showed 0, when there were supposed to be quite a few coins there. The last transactions shown were made at a time I remembered sending some BTC to another wallet. One of the outputs was an address I recognized, while another, with a larger sum sent, I didn't remember seeing before. I'd created a new,  encrypted wallet around the time of the last spends from the wallet in question and figured I must have sent the remaining coins there for safer storage... But where was that wallet? Feeling a cold stone descend into my stomach, I started rooting through the various old wallets I'd accumulated to find where my coins went, spending an hour or so looking, trying to remember what I'd done, wondering if I'd somehow managed to delete the wallet and any backups... Couldn't find it, though.

I took another look at the transaction history, and noticed the two spends were part of the same transaction, meaning the larger spend was change. The receiving address wasn't listed in the relevant wallet's receiving addresses since I hadn't generated it myself, and for some reason,'s wallet import didn't pick up the change coming back, even though the wallet.dat contained the relevant keys. Firing up Bitcoin-qt, the wallet showed the correct balance and I realized I don't need the blockchain synced beyond my last spend, and was able to transfer my savings to the paper wallets.

So, lesson learned? Don't panic, have patience, think things through. And there is something odd about the wallet.dat import of Perhaps it's because it was quite an old wallet. Also... This business of being your own bank can be pretty damn unnerving.

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