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Author Topic: Restoring 8+ old wallets from pre-2013  (Read 245 times)
krte
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December 08, 2017, 03:18:44 AM
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Long story short I was able to get my hands on my old system today. Recovered the HDD to find ~8 wallet files. Some or all may be worthless, some may contain upwards of ~50BTC.

None, however, are able to be imported properly into electrum. What is the best/easiest way of repairing wallet files? I have a number of them that simply state 'cannot read file' when being imported into electrum, some of them crash the client, and one produces the following error:

"Cannot load wallet: 'charmap' codec can't decode byte 0x8f in position 13: character maps to <undefined>"

I cannot say what version of electrum these were last created or run on, but I do know they are all electrum wallets. Any help will be greatly appreciated; and if anything is to come out of the 'hunt' here, rewarded as well.
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December 08, 2017, 11:37:44 AM
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Long story short I was able to get my hands on my old system today. Recovered the HDD to find ~8 wallet files. Some or all may be worthless, some may contain upwards of ~50BTC.

None, however, are able to be imported properly into electrum. What is the best/easiest way of repairing wallet files? I have a number of them that simply state 'cannot read file' when being imported into electrum, some of them crash the client, and one produces the following error:

"Cannot load wallet: 'charmap' codec can't decode byte 0x8f in position 13: character maps to <undefined>"

I cannot say what version of electrum these were last created or run on, but I do know they are all electrum wallets. Any help will be greatly appreciated; and if anything is to come out of the 'hunt' here, rewarded as well.

In what Electrum version you try to restoring that old wallets files?After 2.0 version some things are changed in Electrum and that old wallet files may not work in latest version.You should try to download 1.9.8 version https://download.electrum.org/ and then import files.

Do you have seeds from this wallets and are they password protected?

If you do not succeed with importing wallet files in 1.9.8 version of Electrum you can try to get your seed from files you have.This is one way I've found and I hope it can help you : https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=553096.0

krte
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December 08, 2017, 04:36:07 PM
 #3

Long story short I was able to get my hands on my old system today. Recovered the HDD to find ~8 wallet files. Some or all may be worthless, some may contain upwards of ~50BTC.

None, however, are able to be imported properly into electrum. What is the best/easiest way of repairing wallet files? I have a number of them that simply state 'cannot read file' when being imported into electrum, some of them crash the client, and one produces the following error:

"Cannot load wallet: 'charmap' codec can't decode byte 0x8f in position 13: character maps to <undefined>"

I cannot say what version of electrum these were last created or run on, but I do know they are all electrum wallets. Any help will be greatly appreciated; and if anything is to come out of the 'hunt' here, rewarded as well.

In what Electrum version you try to restoring that old wallets files?After 2.0 version some things are changed in Electrum and that old wallet files may not work in latest version.You should try to download 1.9.8 version https://download.electrum.org/ and then import files.

Do you have seeds from this wallets and are they password protected?

If you do not succeed with importing wallet files in 1.9.8 version of Electrum you can try to get your seed from files you have.This is one way I've found and I hope it can help you : https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=553096.0

I was not aware of the version difference issues in Electrum. Thanks, I will try this after work. I believe most of them were run on pre-2.0 electrum, except for a couple files (which I have been able to dump the private keys from with pywallet) that were used with 2.8, so very recently. That second link looks helpful too, will report back with any progress later!
krte
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December 09, 2017, 05:52:47 AM
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Wanted to provide an update:

Was able to successfully get pywallet to dump a private key for one address, which contained a grand total of 0 BTC  Roll Eyes

Oh well, onto the others! Unfortunately, the above didn't work. Electrum 1.9.8 either crashes or simply does nothing when asked to open any of the files. Opening them up within notepad++ reveals very, very little useful information and many, many [NUL] bytes and overwritten/encrypted data. Sadly, I think these may be too far gone; but I'd love for someone to prove me wrong, and I'm open to trying damn near anything to get into them, even if the payoff is 0 and it's a lesson in cryptography by the end of it  Cheesy

I have successfully pulled ~20 characters of hex from one wallet, but sadly, after transcribing them, it simply translates to 'bestblock' from the file, and nothing useful.
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December 09, 2017, 11:49:38 AM
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I believe I can help - I was quite involved with early Electrum versions on Windows.
It could require some serious time/effort though. Feel free to message me so we can have a chat about it.

1111127SpvabYpoeDoiz5L7QPkfiSh2Q. Only donate if you have a reason to.
krte
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December 10, 2017, 04:25:12 AM
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I believe I can help - I was quite involved with early Electrum versions on Windows.
It could require some serious time/effort though. Feel free to message me so we can have a chat about it.

Sent you a PM, and thanks for the help.

Anyone else who has suggestions for possible solutions or things to try, suggest away! Hit a bit of a brick wall myself, not much that I can think of to try outside of re-scanning the drive and (potentially) picking up other fragments of the files to fill in any null bytes. Even then, doubtful that I could/would and even more doubtful it'd make a difference with the state of the files.
krte
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December 10, 2017, 07:14:40 PM
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I believe I can help - I was quite involved with early Electrum versions on Windows.
It could require some serious time/effort though. Feel free to message me so we can have a chat about it.

PM limit was reached temporarily; might be a stupid question but outside of the file creation date listed under the properties where would I find the exact file creation timestamp you mention? Also, I do recall that one of the wallets was created pre-2013 and renamed to be in line with the current naming standard at some point in time. I can't recall why it was done, but had no compatibility issues or any problems at the time, so assume that it never did any damage.
The Demon Slick
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December 12, 2017, 09:27:04 AM
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Are the new and old system using the same os? I had a similar trouble, put the hdd back in the old machine and got it working (vista) then was able to access old wallets, transfer out (wasn't much) to cold storage and move to new wallets at will. I still had all my keys and pwds. Not sure if that helps but I thought I'd throw it out there. Good Luck!
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