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Author Topic: Problem importing a Private key into Electrum  (Read 1799 times)
random777
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June 16, 2017, 09:25:59 PM
 #1

Hello,
I'm trying to import a private key into Electrum, however, when i do actually import it, it looks like it is tied up to a different Bitcoin address, one that i'm not familiar with and has 0 balance, which is unlike the one i'm trying to import to Electrum with a balance. This is really confusing and frustrating. When i try to add the private key + address to the Electrum using the import/sweep function i get this error "No input found (Note that inputs need to be confirmed)."
Note: I got this private key from the Blockchain.info, which is linked to a totally different Address than the one that shows up on Electrum. I mean i still have access to the funds using Blockchain.info, but i can't seem to be able import it to Elect.
Note 2: I have imported the address + private key to my current blockchain.info account a while back, so it is under the imported address on BC.
Any help would be highly appreciated

Thanks
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achow101
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June 16, 2017, 11:42:46 PM
 #2

There is no import function in Electrum anymore, only sweeping. I presume you are sweeping? In that case, the address you see is not the address that you are importing but rather one that is in your wallet that Electrum will send all of the coins from your "imported" address to.

random777
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June 16, 2017, 11:58:02 PM
 #3

Yes, you are right, it was the sweeping function. If it is showing the address that belongs to Electrum, how do i get it to show the address that is associated with the Private key and has a balance?
Thank you for your help.
achow101
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June 17, 2017, 01:02:14 AM
 #4

Yes, you are right, it was the sweeping function. If it is showing the address that belongs to Electrum, how do i get it to show the address that is associated with the Private key and has a balance?
Thank you for your help.
You can't. You can only see that info after you have clicked "Sweep" and it attempts to create the transaction. When that happens, you can review the transaction before it is signed and broadcast. Before that, it does not lookup any information about the private keys that you have entered. If it says that there are no inputs, then that means that you may not have the private key for the right address.

random777
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June 17, 2017, 01:26:23 AM
 #5

I see what you mean, but on the blockchain.info, it shows that the private key belongs to that address. This is really confusing! That means that Blockchain.info is showing me the wrong private key, how could that be possible?  Sad Sad
achow101
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June 17, 2017, 01:36:16 AM
 #6

I see what you mean, but on the blockchain.info, it shows that the private key belongs to that address. This is really confusing! That means that Blockchain.info is showing me the wrong private key, how could that be possible?  Sad Sad
Blockchain.info could have yet another bug in their wallet (it's a common occurrence for their wallet to be full of bugs) which is displaying the incorrect private key.

Alternatively you are looking at the wrong address or the transactions to that address have not confirmed yet.

random777
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June 17, 2017, 02:19:56 AM
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I see what you mean, but on the blockchain.info, it shows that the private key belongs to that address. This is really confusing! That means that Blockchain.info is showing me the wrong private key, how could that be possible?  Sad Sad
Blockchain.info could have yet another bug in their wallet (it's a common occurrence for their wallet to be full of bugs) which is displaying the incorrect private key.

Alternatively you are looking at the wrong address or the transactions to that address have not confirmed yet.

Here's a screenshot showing the address as well as the private key on the Blockchain.info (just a portion of it of course)
http://imgur.com/a/ycypU
HCP
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June 17, 2017, 03:25:04 AM
 #8

OP seems to not understand the difference between "Sweep" and "Import" Undecided

"Sweeping" creates a transaction that sends the coins from that address to your new Electrum (or any other) address that you choose... thus, it will have a different private key and different address.

The only way to maintain the same private key and address is to "import" the key... and this is not possible into an Electrum HD (aka "seed based") wallet... you can only "import" into an Electrum wallet that you specify as being based on public/private keys when you create it:

"File -> New/Restore"... give it a name... select "Standard Wallet"... then you should see this:


DO NOT select "create a new seed"... instead, make sure you select "Use public or private keys", click "next". Then put your private key into the box on the next screen and click "next".

Your wallet will be created with your "old address" and transaction history and balance for that address.


NOTE: It is NOT recommended to import, as this new wallet is NOT an HD wallet and so it is not backed up by a 12 word seed phrase. You must therefore make regular backups of the wallet file and/or private keys so that you are able to recover your coins if your computer blows up or your hard drive dies etc.

Sweeping is a much better option!!

pooya87
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June 17, 2017, 05:19:51 AM
 #9

I see what you mean, but on the blockchain.info, it shows that the private key belongs to that address. This is really confusing! That means that Blockchain.info is showing me the wrong private key, how could that be possible?  Sad Sad
Blockchain.info could have yet another bug in their wallet (it's a common occurrence for their wallet to be full of bugs) which is displaying the incorrect private key.

Alternatively you are looking at the wrong address or the transactions to that address have not confirmed yet.

Here's a screenshot showing the address as well as the private key on the Blockchain.info (just a portion of it of course)


copy the private key from that interface then open a text editor such as the Notepad in windows and paste the copied private key there.
then take good look at what you see. check every character to see if there is anything different.
maybe something like this[1] is also happening to you.
and as HCP said you can still import private keys in electrum you just have to create a new wallet without seed [2]. the function that achow101 said no longer exists is importing private keys in a wallet that has a seed.

[1] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1942431.msg19293246#msg19293246
[2] http://docs.electrum.org/en/latest/faq.html#can-i-import-private-keys-from-other-bitcoin-clients

random777
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June 17, 2017, 05:24:49 AM
 #10

I'm sorry if i sound like a newbie, however, my wallet is Electrum v2.8.3 (non HD). And to kill any doubt, i've just uninstalled it and deleted all data from Roaming directory, including wallet.dat. Then i reinstalled it, and started from scratch, and did exactly as in the images (looks like Electrum non-HD version does support "Import" as a matter of fact), but still, when i added the Private Key, it shows me this address "1Emhxm5Fx1cZCKRfrxTSFCEuBN7mZjMtQD" as opposed to my address that starts with "1Fy8dvuHjiTL........". Blockchain.info shows that the Private key belongs to "1Fy8dvuHjiTL....." and NOT "1Emhxm5Fx1cZCKRfrxTSFCEuBN7mZjMtQD", so i guess there is some kind of bug on Blockchain.info for showing me a PK that belongs to this empty address instead.


OP seems to not understand the difference between "Sweep" and "Import" Undecided

"Sweeping" creates a transaction that sends the coins from that address to your new Electrum (or any other) address that you choose... thus, it will have a different private key and different address.

The only way to maintain the same private key and address is to "import" the key... and this is not possible into an Electrum HD (aka "seed based") wallet... you can only "import" into an Electrum wallet that you specify as being based on public/private keys when you create it:

"File -> New/Restore"... give it a name... select "Standard Wallet"... then you should see this:
https://i.imgur.com/LfGcfmC.png

DO NOT select "create a new seed"... instead, make sure you select "Use public or private keys", click "next". Then put your private key into the box on the next screen and click "next".

Your wallet will be created with your "old address" and transaction history and balance for that address.


NOTE: It is NOT recommended to import, as this new wallet is NOT an HD wallet and so it is not backed up by a 12 word seed phrase. You must therefore make regular backups of the wallet file and/or private keys so that you are able to recover your coins if your computer blows up or your hard drive dies etc.

Sweeping is a much better option!!

pooya87
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June 17, 2017, 05:42:11 AM
 #11

just a weird thought but if you have ever spent anything from that address (1Fy8dvuHjiTL...) you can use the below link (complete the address in the link) it can show you the public key of your address. and if it was long (130 characters) instead of being short (66 characters) that means the private key that blockchain.info gave you (KyF21...) is a wrong one and it should start with 5 instead!
https://blockchain.info/q/pubkeyaddr/1Fy8dvuHjiTL.....

- read more about compressed and uncompressed here: https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/3059/what-is-a-compressed-bitcoin-key
- use this tool to count characters faster http://string-functions.com/length.aspx

random777
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June 17, 2017, 06:05:30 AM
 #12

just a weird thought but if you have ever spent anything from that address (1Fy8dvuHjiTL...) you can use the below link (complete the address in the link) it can show you the public key of your address. and if it was long (130 characters) instead of being short (66 characters) that means the private key that blockchain.info gave you (KyF21...) is a wrong one and it should start with 5 instead!
https://blockchain.info/q/pubkeyaddr/1Fy8dvuHjiTL.....

- read more about compressed and uncompressed here: https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/3059/what-is-a-compressed-bitcoin-key
- use this tool to count characters faster http://string-functions.com/length.aspx

Yes, i have spent from that address before. Actually, the key is a 130 characters as you said, and it goes as follows "04980461a19399593793b7394b26d4bf0af855b60406591ac8312....."  Embarrassed
pooya87
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June 17, 2017, 06:46:36 AM
 #13

just a weird thought but if you have ever spent anything from that address (1Fy8dvuHjiTL...) you can use the below link (complete the address in the link) it can show you the public key of your address. and if it was long (130 characters) instead of being short (66 characters) that means the private key that blockchain.info gave you (KyF21...) is a wrong one and it should start with 5 instead!
https://blockchain.info/q/pubkeyaddr/1Fy8dvuHjiTL.....

- read more about compressed and uncompressed here: https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/3059/what-is-a-compressed-bitcoin-key
- use this tool to count characters faster http://string-functions.com/length.aspx

Yes, i have spent from that address before. Actually, the key is a 130 characters as you said, and it goes as follows "04980461a19399593793b7394b26d4bf0af855b60406591ac8312....."  Embarrassed

so it is as i suspected. a bug in blockchain.info!
you imported your private key a long time ago and that private key was an uncompressed private key (started with 5) and now blockchain.info has converted that into a compressed private key (starting with K). that is why the public key and the base58 (or bitcoin address you've got = 1Emhxm...) is different.

now all you need to do is to convert that compressed key to the uncompressed one.
to do that, the only trusted tool that i know is https://github.com/pointbiz/bitaddress.org
you can see the live version here: https://www.bitaddress.org
although you MUST take a copy of the project and run it offline for security reasons.

open it, then get rid of the address generation step (move your mouse around until it shows 100% complete.
then go to the wallet detail tab and paste in your private key (KyF21...) and click View details button.
scroll down and find the private key which is starting with 5 and copy that in electrum

edit: a picture help:

random777
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June 17, 2017, 07:18:30 AM
 #14

That did the trick!!! You are simply the best buddy!! I thank you pretty much for your huge help!!  Smiley Smiley


just a weird thought but if you have ever spent anything from that address (1Fy8dvuHjiTL...) you can use the below link (complete the address in the link) it can show you the public key of your address. and if it was long (130 characters) instead of being short (66 characters) that means the private key that blockchain.info gave you (KyF21...) is a wrong one and it should start with 5 instead!
https://blockchain.info/q/pubkeyaddr/1Fy8dvuHjiTL.....

- read more about compressed and uncompressed here: https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/3059/what-is-a-compressed-bitcoin-key
- use this tool to count characters faster http://string-functions.com/length.aspx

Yes, i have spent from that address before. Actually, the key is a 130 characters as you said, and it goes as follows "04980461a19399593793b7394b26d4bf0af855b60406591ac8312....."  Embarrassed

so it is as i suspected. a bug in blockchain.info!
you imported your private key a long time ago and that private key was an uncompressed private key (started with 5) and now blockchain.info has converted that into a compressed private key (starting with K). that is why the public key and the base58 (or bitcoin address you've got = 1Emhxm...) is different.

now all you need to do is to convert that compressed key to the uncompressed one.
to do that, the only trusted tool that i know is https://github.com/pointbiz/bitaddress.org
you can see the live version here: https://www.bitaddress.org
although you MUST take a copy of the project and run it offline for security reasons.

open it, then get rid of the address generation step (move your mouse around until it shows 100% complete.
then go to the wallet detail tab and paste in your private key (KyF21...) and click View details button.
scroll down and find the private key which is starting with 5 and copy that in electrum

edit: a picture help:
https://i.imgur.com/Jem65wZ.jpg
pooya87
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June 17, 2017, 07:28:30 AM
 #15

That did the trick!!! You are simply the best buddy!! I thank you pretty much for your huge help!!  Smiley Smiley

no problem, glad i could help. and i am just paying it forward. somebody helped me in early days when i just started using bitcoin and now i am using all that information to help others Roll Eyes

random777
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June 17, 2017, 04:17:39 PM
 #16

That did the trick!!! You are simply the best buddy!! I thank you pretty much for your huge help!!  Smiley Smiley

no problem, glad i could help. and i am just paying it forward. somebody helped me in early days when i just started using bitcoin and now i am using all that information to help others Roll Eyes

I do appreciate it! Keep up the great work Smiley
The-coiner
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June 23, 2017, 04:48:41 PM
 #17

just a weird thought but if you have ever spent anything from that address (1Fy8dvuHjiTL...) you can use the below link (complete the address in the link) it can show you the public key of your address. and if it was long (130 characters) instead of being short (66 characters) that means the private key that blockchain.info gave you (KyF21...) is a wrong one and it should start with 5 instead!
https://blockchain.info/q/pubkeyaddr/1Fy8dvuHjiTL.....

- read more about compressed and uncompressed here: https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/3059/what-is-a-compressed-bitcoin-key
- use this tool to count characters faster http://string-functions.com/length.aspx

Yes, i have spent from that address before. Actually, the key is a 130 characters as you said, and it goes as follows "04980461a19399593793b7394b26d4bf0af855b60406591ac8312....."  Embarrassed

so it is as i suspected. a bug in blockchain.info!
you imported your private key a long time ago and that private key was an uncompressed private key (started with 5) and now blockchain.info has converted that into a compressed private key (starting with K). that is why the public key and the base58 (or bitcoin address you've got = 1Emhxm...) is different.

now all you need to do is to convert that compressed key to the uncompressed one.
to do that, the only trusted tool that i know is https://github.com/pointbiz/bitaddress.org
you can see the live version here: https://www.bitaddress.org
although you MUST take a copy of the project and run it offline for security reasons.

open it, then get rid of the address generation step (move your mouse around until it shows 100% complete.
then go to the wallet detail tab and paste in your private key (KyF21...) and click View details button.
scroll down and find the private key which is starting with 5 and copy that in electrum

edit: a picture help:
https://i.imgur.com/Jem65wZ.jpg

thanks alot
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