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Author Topic: bitcoin qt wallet on USB seems to be reseted - i fear i lost EVERYTHING!  (Read 1701 times)
TheD1ceMan
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May 10, 2013, 10:52:51 PM
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guys, i am sitting in front of my computer literally shaking, sweating and chewing my fingernails off.. it seems that something terrible has happened to me and i don't know what to do!!
i just pluged in my USB drive where i have my bitcoin-qt wallet stored. i wanted to send some of newly bought BTC from mtgox to my wallet. i haven't opened my wallet for about a week so i expected that i need to load a pile of blocks first.

but what almost made me shit my pants is the fact that i was ALWAYS able to see my wallet overview with the actual data (overview/amount of coins, open transactions etc.) whenever i did that- even if the blocks needed to update. but today- nothing!!the look and feel is when i started the wallte for the first time. it actually gives me the option to encrypt my wallet, even tough that was one of the first things i did when i used it for the first time!

i am now really afraid that i lost everything as my wallet seems to be reseted or something. and i don't now what to do if this is really the case. it would mean that i would have lost about 3k (roghly 30 coins) in FIAT. and these are pretty much my whole savings!!!!! i now i wasn't supposed to invest money i can't afford to loose. but i don't gamble with my BTC, no trading, i encrypted my wallet, stored it on a USB because i believed it wouldn't be safe on my computer and so on. i invested the money because i am sure BTC will take off one day and give me and my loved ones a chance for a better life.
i won't starve if my wallet is really lost, but my savings would be gone.... and that would hurt me. no way i would be able to buy new coins. all i have left are like 1.8 coins on mt gox.

can anybodyy help me, tell me what might has happened? i have not fully loaded the blocks and exited the wallet because i am afraid that it might overwrite old date that could be somewhere on the USB drive.
i have been googeling to see if the data doesn't show up because i havent used the wallet for approx. a week but i haven't found people with the same issue and i am afraid to try what happens.
i am also searching the internet for information on how to restore data on USB drives. but again, i don't know where the date could have gone.. nobody is using this drive except me and the folder with bitcoin-qt is still there, everything looked the same when i started it..

does anybody have an idea what i have done wrong and how to solve that? please, i'd be willing to to give that person that can help me getting back the about 30 coins in my wallet the coins i still have on mtgox (roughly 1.8 BTC). please guys, i don't wan't to loose my savings and be THAT guy while i have told all my friends and co-workers they should invest because this is a great thing to do.

sorry if i come across crazy but i am really on the edge of breaking down, in my life i have never felt this helpless and you people seem to be the only ones that can help me out here.

any help is much appreciated- thank you so much!

If you want to buy my a beer: 1C63v2YbqMmt6hb1EqxouaVxheCt1fBTBa
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TheD1ceMan
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May 10, 2013, 10:58:02 PM
 #2

i just remembered that i downloaded a movie and stored that movie on the very same USB and then used it on my TV to watch it. could it be that this caused the problem???

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Birdy
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May 10, 2013, 11:03:08 PM
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What exactly do you have on the USB stick?
the whole Bitcoin-qt client or just the wallet.dat?
TheD1ceMan
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May 10, 2013, 11:04:52 PM
 #4

What exactly do you have on the USB stick?
the whole Bitcoin-qt client or just the wallet.dat?

the complete client. i installed it on my USB and always launched it from my USB

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hous
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May 10, 2013, 11:05:05 PM
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what film was it~?
Birdy
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May 10, 2013, 11:06:38 PM
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What exactly do you have on the USB stick?
the whole Bitcoin-qt client or just the wallet.dat?

the complete client. i installed it on my USB and always launched it from my USB

The important part is the wallet.dat
Check C:\Users\[your username]\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin on your computer, are there files?
(AppData is an invisible folder)
TheD1ceMan
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May 10, 2013, 11:07:04 PM
 #7

what film was it~?

hansel and gretel. fucking sucks btw.

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TheD1ceMan
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May 10, 2013, 11:09:22 PM
 #8

What exactly do you have on the USB stick?
the whole Bitcoin-qt client or just the wallet.dat?

the complete client. i installed it on my USB and always launched it from my USB

The important part is the wallet.dat
Check C:\Users\[your username]\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin on your computer, are there files?
(AppData is an invisible folder)

yes, there are!


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Birdy
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May 10, 2013, 11:11:50 PM
 #9

What exactly do you have on the USB stick?
the whole Bitcoin-qt client or just the wallet.dat?

the complete client. i installed it on my USB and always launched it from my USB

The important part is the wallet.dat
Check C:\Users\[your username]\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin on your computer, are there files?
(AppData is an invisible folder)

yes, there are!



Okey, alright. There is hope!
Seems like you have never really secured it on the USB at all.
The wallet.dat is the important file with your private keys (aka the keys to your coins)
TheD1ceMan
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May 10, 2013, 11:12:51 PM
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Okey, alright. There is hope!
Seems like you have never really secured it on the USB at all.
The wallet.dat is the important file with your private keys (aka the keys to your coins)
[/quote]

ok, that makes me feel better... what should i do now?

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Birdy
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May 10, 2013, 11:16:53 PM
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First secure a copy of the wallet.dat somewhere, then make a fresh install of the qt-client on your PC (don't do anything on the USB stick yet, I don't know what you have done there) and try if it works. I don't think it will overwrite the old wallet.dat but better safe than sorry.
TheD1ceMan
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May 10, 2013, 11:19:07 PM
 #12

First secure a copy of the wallet.dat somewhere, then make a fresh install of the qt-client on your PC (don't do anything on the USB stick yet, I don't know what you have done there) and try if it works. I don't think it will overwrite the old wallet.dat but better safe than sorry.

ok, i will try, thanks!!

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TheD1ceMan
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May 10, 2013, 11:24:35 PM
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ok, i downloaded the client and it now updated the blocks. this could take a while.
i just realized that my firewall (or anti virus program) asked me if i want to give bitcoin qt certain rights. this has never happened before and probably is because it has updated (the firewall/virus program).

maybe this has caused the problem in the first place?!

edit: i obiously downloaded the client from a trustworthy source. my computer has done the same thing for other programs today.

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Birdy
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May 10, 2013, 11:28:34 PM
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ok, i down loaded the client and it now updated the blocks. this could take a while.
i just realized that my firewall (or anti virus program) asked me if i want to give bitcoin qt certain rights. this has never happened before and probably is because it has updated (the firewall/virus program).

maybe this has caused the problem in the first place?!

I don't know. Does it load the blocks all the way from zero?
TheD1ceMan
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May 10, 2013, 11:30:02 PM
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no, it updates from about half of it. i have safely ejected the USB before i installed and runned the new client tough.

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Rampion
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May 10, 2013, 11:32:35 PM
 #16

First secure a copy of the wallet.dat somewhere, then make a fresh install of the qt-client on your PC (don't do anything on the USB stick yet, I don't know what you have done there) and try if it works. I don't think it will overwrite the old wallet.dat but better safe than sorry.

This. And make sure you always have multiple copies of your wallet.dat file, that's the important part.

TheD1ceMan
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May 10, 2013, 11:33:36 PM
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about 87k blocks left

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Birdy
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May 10, 2013, 11:33:55 PM
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no, it updates from about half of it. i have safely ejected the USB before i installed and runned the new client tough.
Ok, waiting then. If there is still nothing when synchro is complete copy your secured wallet.dat in
Check C:\Users\[your username]\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin and restart the client.
I hope it will help.
TheD1ceMan
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May 10, 2013, 11:35:37 PM
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First secure a copy of the wallet.dat somewhere, then make a fresh install of the qt-client on your PC (don't do anything on the USB stick yet, I don't know what you have done there) and try if it works. I don't think it will overwrite the old wallet.dat but better safe than sorry.

This. And make sure you always have multiple copies of your wallet.dat file, that's the important part.

oh believe me. i will do exactly that and also create a paper wallet and whatnot. IF this goes right and my coins aren't lost i will do whatever it takes to prevent a f-up situation like this from ever happeining again....

If you want to buy my a beer: 1C63v2YbqMmt6hb1EqxouaVxheCt1fBTBa
TheD1ceMan
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May 10, 2013, 11:36:43 PM
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no, it updates from about half of it. i have safely ejected the USB before i installed and runned the new client tough.
Ok, waiting then. If there is still nothing when synchro is complete copy your secured wallet.dat in
Check C:\Users\[your username]\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin and restart the client.
I hope it will help.

will do birdy, thanks a lot!!

If you want to buy my a beer: 1C63v2YbqMmt6hb1EqxouaVxheCt1fBTBa
freedik
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May 11, 2013, 12:01:52 AM
 #21

the complete client. i installed it on my USB and always launched it from my USB
TheD1ceMan
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May 11, 2013, 02:28:47 PM
 #22

so here's a little update if someone's interested and might has another idea:

birdy's tipp (thanks again man) unfortunately didn't work. i reinstalled the bitcoin-qt client and copied the wallet.dat into the mentioned folder. unfortunately no dice- still noting..

what can i say.. i haven't abandoned hope yet and i am still hoping i can somehow retrieve my coins. i am wondering what i might have done in the first place that everythings gone.
but i need a break for now. haven't really sleeped the last night and my GF is coming over soon. i better think about what i am gonna say to her about that f-up situation. it's my money but it will reflect on her (holidays, gifts, my mood..).

thanks again and if someone HAS ANY idea what might has happened and how to get back my coins the offer is still standing for the 1.8 BTC bounty. i gotta say tough that birdy should get a portion of that anyway because he really tried hard to help me up til now.

give me a few hours, i will give you guys an update later/tomorrow.

If you want to buy my a beer: 1C63v2YbqMmt6hb1EqxouaVxheCt1fBTBa
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May 12, 2013, 07:01:24 PM
 #23

TheD1ceMan sent me his wallet.dat
But it's not a wallet file, it only has random(?) content
I find these words inside it though: CoTaskMemFree.ole32.dll, System.Transactions.Dll GetNotificationFactory, IL_STUB_COMtoCL, IL_STUB_CLRtoCOM, IL_STUB_PInvok, IL_STUB_ReversePInvok

Own address: 19QkqAza7BHFTuoz9N8UQkryP4E9jHo4N3 - Pywallet support: 1AQDfx22pKGgXnUZFL1e4UKos3QqvRzNh5 - Bitcointalk++ script support: 1Pxeccscj1ygseTdSV1qUqQCanp2B2NMM2
Pywallet: instructions. Encrypted wallet support, export/import keys/addresses, backup wallets, export/import CSV data from/into wallet, merge wallets, delete/import addresses and transactions, recover altcoins sent to bitcoin addresses, sign/verify messages and files with Bitcoin addresses, recover deleted wallets, etc.
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May 12, 2013, 07:16:18 PM
 #24

Here's what you can also try: Download the "Everything" search tool (pick the portable version called Everything-1.3.2.649b.zip) from http://www.voidtools.com/ and let it scan your C drive - this shouldn't take more than a minute or two, that tool is FAST and much more comprehensive than the default Windows search thing. Then search for all files wallet.dat. Do you find several? Look at the creation dates of those files to find the correct one. Do the same for your usb stick. Or you can send them to me, I can have a look too.

1111127SpvabYpoeDoiz5L7QPkfiSh2Q. Only donate if you have a reason to.
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May 12, 2013, 07:35:08 PM
 #25

Here's what you can also try: Download the "Everything" search tool (pick the portable version called Everything-1.3.2.649b.zip) from http://www.voidtools.com/ and let it scan your C drive - this shouldn't take more than a minute or two, that tool is FAST and much more comprehensive than the default Windows search thing. Then search for all files wallet.dat. Do you find several? Look at the creation dates of those files to find the correct one. Do the same for your usb stick. Or you can send them to me, I can have a look too.
Closed-source?

Own address: 19QkqAza7BHFTuoz9N8UQkryP4E9jHo4N3 - Pywallet support: 1AQDfx22pKGgXnUZFL1e4UKos3QqvRzNh5 - Bitcointalk++ script support: 1Pxeccscj1ygseTdSV1qUqQCanp2B2NMM2
Pywallet: instructions. Encrypted wallet support, export/import keys/addresses, backup wallets, export/import CSV data from/into wallet, merge wallets, delete/import addresses and transactions, recover altcoins sent to bitcoin addresses, sign/verify messages and files with Bitcoin addresses, recover deleted wallets, etc.
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May 12, 2013, 07:38:32 PM
 #26

Well, we figured out what happened:

He erased/reinstalled Bitcoin (alongside other programs) on his computer, because he thought that the wallet/coins are safe on the USB stick (only the client is on the stick, not the blockchain or wallet data).
The wallet.dat is from a recovery program and couldn't be fully recovered.
There is still a (small :/) chance that the private key is intact in there.
Or is there maybe another backup option untried? some autobackup from windows maybe?
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May 12, 2013, 07:41:48 PM
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thats my nightmare  Undecided

he shouldnt make to much on the hdd, better start with a livecd and try to recover the data.
flatfly
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May 12, 2013, 07:51:43 PM
 #28

Why do most newbies continue to use Qt when much safer alternatives are available?

Research the Electrum deterministic lightweight client, for instance. It's specifically designed to
protect you against this kind of data loss risk, which has caused MUCH more financial losses to
non-technical users than hacking, by the way.

1111127SpvabYpoeDoiz5L7QPkfiSh2Q. Only donate if you have a reason to.
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May 12, 2013, 07:52:53 PM
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This is a job for a recovery expert. The more you faff with the system installing new programs etc, the more you risk over writing the wallet.dat from the drive. There may be an oppertunity for a recovery expert to retrieve the file using Volume Shadow Copies.

If you are UK based I could help, otherwise it would be a local data recovery company.

All the best mate
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May 12, 2013, 07:54:36 PM
 #30

Why do most newbies continue to use Qt when much safer alternatives are available?

Because it's the standard client :/
So it's most likely the first one you find and there is no warning on bitcoin.org that this isn't the one you should choose.
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May 12, 2013, 08:31:41 PM
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If you havnt recovered it by Tuesday, give me a PM when I'm back at work and i'll take you through a few things we could try.
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May 13, 2013, 02:02:52 PM
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Why do most newbies continue to use Qt when much safer alternatives are available?

Because it's the standard client :/
So it's most likely the first one you find and there is no warning on bitcoin.org that this isn't the one you should choose.

Standard client?  What international standards organization has announced a standardized client?  ISO?  IEEE?

As far as I know there is no "standard" or "official" client.

Bitcoin-Qt is the first client created, and it is generally used as a protocol reference.

Calling it "standard" or "official" simply perpetuates the cycle of confusing others.

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May 13, 2013, 02:29:00 PM
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That is truely a sad story to read.

And I have to agree, unless you're techsavy the bitcoin-qt wallet isn't the best one to use. On the other hand: Bitcoin-qt has a "secure wallet" function one should use to save his wallet to a USB drive. After encrypting it of course. The rationale is: encryption protects from theft (if your password is strong [the longer the better, use letters, numbers AND ]) and the securing on a USB drive protects you from data loss.

I can't provide any help to the case beyond what was said already: Don't do anything more with that harddisk, the more writing is done on it the worse the chances of succesfully recovering that lost data. Use unix-livecds to boot and try recovery from there, I can't suggest any good ones though since I havent' had to use such techniques in years. Trust me you learn quickly from such incidents. If that doesn't work there's allways the option to send it in to recovery labs but those take shitloads of money, probably more than the 30 coins are worth.

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May 13, 2013, 02:34:49 PM
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what film was it~?

Some of you are very cruel.
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May 13, 2013, 03:01:54 PM
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Well, we figured out what happened:

He erased/reinstalled Bitcoin (alongside other programs) on his computer, because he thought that the wallet/coins are safe on the USB stick (only the client is on the stick, not the blockchain or wallet data).
The wallet.dat is from a recovery program and couldn't be fully recovered.
There is still a (small :/) chance that the private key is intact in there.
Or is there maybe another backup option untried? some autobackup from windows maybe?

I have used recovery programs before and they work. I am not sure what O/S he is using, but even if he copied over the wallet.dat file in the appdata folder, it can still be recovered. Easy Data Drive Recovery is what I used. I could walk the OP through it on a conference call. Another poster was absolutely right - avoid using that drive - if the file has been deleted than that block is open to be written on.
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May 13, 2013, 03:37:07 PM
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so sad to hear this. hope you can recover it. good luck!
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May 13, 2013, 06:26:33 PM
 #37

This is a job for a recovery expert. The more you faff with the system installing new programs etc, the more you risk over writing the wallet.dat from the drive. There may be an oppertunity for a recovery expert to retrieve the file using Volume Shadow Copies.

If you are UK based I could help, otherwise it would be a local data recovery company.

All the best mate


thanks man. unfortunately shadow copies are not an option. because i use windows 8 and guess what- no shadow copies in windows 8. vista, XP and windows 7 used them but no, windows 8 doesn't Sad

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TheD1ceMan
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May 13, 2013, 06:28:29 PM
 #38

Why do most newbies continue to use Qt when much safer alternatives are available?

Because it's the standard client :/
So it's most likely the first one you find and there is no warning on bitcoin.org that this isn't the one you should choose.

exactly. that's why i downloaded it. but i was too stupid to read into other stuff as well. so i have to take the biggst part of the blame.
i was thinking about creating a paper wallet but i didn't because i was to busy to read into it. if only i could turn back time....

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May 13, 2013, 06:40:41 PM
 #39

If you havnt recovered it by Tuesday, give me a PM when I'm back at work and i'll take you through a few things we could try.

hi maz. thanks a lot, will do!
i am truly amazed how people take time out of their busy schedule to help me. that's why i belived (and still believe) in the BTC system in the first place.
sure, i also invested bevause i wanted to have the opportunity to help my loved ones later when they are worth a lot. i was planning in giving one BTC to each of my familiy members. i live in a wealthy country but still,parts of my family have suffered hard. my uncle died last year with just 50yrs from a brain tumour and left his family nothing, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time (right after her brother, my uncle) died and so on. i just wanted to make all our lives a little bit easier.
the fact that this opportunity might has vanished hurts me more than lossing a couple of thousand dollars of the current value. knowing that i won't be able to buy back in..

i am not saving anything on my pc at the moment, nor downloading anything in order to not cause any more damage. and i am reading everything there is about recovery. i haven't abandoned hope yet, even tough it is not easy. but i guess it's worth to fight for my original cause of helping my family i guess.

sorry for being a bit emotional here guys, just needed to get that off my chest. again, you are all very helpful and i appreciate it a lot!

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May 13, 2013, 06:45:51 PM
 #40

Well, we figured out what happened:

He erased/reinstalled Bitcoin (alongside other programs) on his computer, because he thought that the wallet/coins are safe on the USB stick (only the client is on the stick, not the blockchain or wallet data).
The wallet.dat is from a recovery program and couldn't be fully recovered.
There is still a (small :/) chance that the private key is intact in there.
Or is there maybe another backup option untried? some autobackup from windows maybe?

I have used recovery programs before and they work. I am not sure what O/S he is using, but even if he copied over the wallet.dat file in the appdata folder, it can still be recovered. Easy Data Drive Recovery is what I used. I could walk the OP through it on a conference call. Another poster was absolutely right - avoid using that drive - if the file has been deleted than that block is open to be written on.

i am using windows 8, unfortunately. there's no shadow copies and things like that. the other thing is that it took me 1.5 weeks before i discovered something was wrong, that's why most of the data has already been overwritten.
i tried like 10 different recovery programs, they all came up with the same result.

however, i found other fileswuth names like "rev0043.dat". out of those approx. 50 files i was able to recover about 7. i am holding on to these hoping they might be good for something. but the wallet.dat definately seems to be f-up..

If you want to buy my a beer: 1C63v2YbqMmt6hb1EqxouaVxheCt1fBTBa
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May 13, 2013, 06:51:41 PM
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Ok so it's windows 8 without VSC. Did you enable the file history feature by any chance? This link will explain how to check that http://www.howtogeek.com/74623/how-to-use-the-new-file-history-feature-in-windows-8/
JJames
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May 13, 2013, 06:58:47 PM
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That sucks man.

I would avoid using Windows for now and use a Live CD to start recovery software. If you're on a regular HDD there's a good chance that the part that contained the wallet.dat isn't physically overwritten yet. It might still be there, your filesystem just doesn't know about it anymore.

Did you keep a copy of the "messed up" wallet.dat? What happens when you load it (a copy of it!), does it have a completely different address?
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May 13, 2013, 07:18:40 PM
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maybe you can try this: http://www.chip.de/downloads/Recuva_23935261.html
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May 13, 2013, 07:32:36 PM
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hi knecke

i did, thanks anyway! thats the program i used to recover whatever was left to recover.

If you want to buy my a beer: 1C63v2YbqMmt6hb1EqxouaVxheCt1fBTBa
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May 13, 2013, 07:35:41 PM
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That sucks man.

I would avoid using Windows for now and use a Live CD to start recovery software. If you're on a regular HDD there's a good chance that the part that contained the wallet.dat isn't physically overwritten yet. It might still be there, your filesystem just doesn't know about it anymore.

Did you keep a copy of the "messed up" wallet.dat? What happens when you load it (a copy of it!), does it have a completely different address?

i read that it sometimes a file is nit overwritten even if it says so. that just the index of where the file was is overwritten. at least thats what i understood with my limited konowledge. i am reading more to try to understand if this could be the case.
if i load a copy of the wallet i get an error code, saying that the wallet is damaged and can not be read.

If you want to buy my a beer: 1C63v2YbqMmt6hb1EqxouaVxheCt1fBTBa
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May 13, 2013, 07:38:31 PM
 #46

I think I've read something mentioned about scanning the whole volume for possible private keys. Don't know where though :/
But a program like this could help you.
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May 13, 2013, 07:40:58 PM
 #47

I think I've read something mentioned about scanning the whole volume for possible private keys. Don't know where though :/
But a program like this could help you.

hi birdy

could it be this by any chance?

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=203394.msg2126091#msg2126091

If you want to buy my a beer: 1C63v2YbqMmt6hb1EqxouaVxheCt1fBTBa
Cy Bo Rg
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May 13, 2013, 07:46:30 PM
 #48



however, i found other fileswuth names like "rev0043.dat". out of those approx. 50 files i was able to recover about 7. i am holding on to these hoping they might be good for something. but the wallet.dat definately seems to be f-up..

Hi everybody,I'm new here Smiley

Well,in my experience recovered files all have wrong names from the original (like your "rev0043.dat" file).
Thus,if you were lucky and you did recover the file you need,just COPY&BACKUP ALL THOSE RECOVERED FILES, change the names OF THE COPIES into the original name of the file you have lost,and you should just have to try all those ".dat" files until you find the one that works.

Hope this helps   Smiley


EDIT : p.s. : if you've got some money to spend(for a recovery expert in your city/country),I would like to let you know that you can totally revert the state of clusters so to be able to see the changes in your hard drive since it started operating...By this I mean you can even recover you ex-ex-ex-ex-gf pictures you deleted 3 years ago; in fact,there's no such thing as "deletion" when playing with hard disks (unless you use some special algorithm which scrambles data before deletion).
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May 13, 2013, 07:51:56 PM
 #49

I think I've read something mentioned about scanning the whole volume for possible private keys. Don't know where though :/
But a program like this could help you.

hi birdy

could it be this by any chance?

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=203394.msg2126091#msg2126091

if you know one of your addresses you used than you can search in the recovered files for it the addresses are in the wallet file.
or you can search the pattern: "defaultkey"
then you know its the wallet file.
TheD1ceMan
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May 13, 2013, 08:06:16 PM
 #50

cy bo rg and birdy: i will try both your methods tomorrow! i still haven't lost hope. thanks to both of you and ofcourse to everybody else!

If you want to buy my a beer: 1C63v2YbqMmt6hb1EqxouaVxheCt1fBTBa
JJames
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May 13, 2013, 08:12:06 PM
 #51

That sucks man.

I would avoid using Windows for now and use a Live CD to start recovery software. If you're on a regular HDD there's a good chance that the part that contained the wallet.dat isn't physically overwritten yet. It might still be there, your filesystem just doesn't know about it anymore.

Did you keep a copy of the "messed up" wallet.dat? What happens when you load it (a copy of it!), does it have a completely different address?

i read that it sometimes a file is nit overwritten even if it says so. that just the index of where the file was is overwritten. at least thats what i understood with my limited konowledge. i am reading more to try to understand if this could be the case.
if i load a copy of the wallet i get an error code, saying that the wallet is damaged and can not be read.

The physical file isn't always overwritten indeed. When you delete something you basically tell your filesystem to mark that spot on the harddrive as free again. The actual data is still there, your filesystem just has no way to reference to it anymore.  That is best case scenario. Recovery programs will be able to recover the files (not the names though, as they were stored in the filesystem) most of the time. If it has been overwritten (eventually you will write to that spot that is marked as "free") there is still a chance, but afaik only with specialized hardware, to recover pieces of the data.
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