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News: Make sure you are not using versions of Bitcoin Core other than 0.17.0 [Torrent], 0.16.3, 0.15.2, or 0.14.3. More info.
 
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Author Topic: help please with Bitcoin Core download  (Read 176 times)
Pootleberry Pie
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February 11, 2018, 05:34:41 AM
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Hello, I am trying to buy my first Bitcoin.  I started with this site and with going to the Bitcoin Core link and trying to download it as my wallet.  I had read in the reviews that it could take a long time to download, but this is ridiculous!  I bought a new laptop for this purpose.  I am not at all tech savvy, but the laptop says it has intel core i5 7th gen, 6GB DDR4 memory, 1000GB HDD.  This doesn't mean anything to me, but it might do to someone who could help me with my question.  So I started the download about 4 or 5 days ago.  My computer has been permanently online since then and doing nothing else at all except trying to download Bitcoin Core.  At the moment, it shows two boxes.  One of them says "synchronising with network 2 years and 44 weeks behind"  the other says various things including "number of blocks left 156941, progress 22.12%, progress increase per hour 0.27%, estimated time left to sync 8 days".  Earlier today, the estimated time left to sync was 21 year and 11 weeks, so I guess there has been some progress.  But really?  Should this programme take so long, 5 days already plus another 8 days just to download it??  I am itching to get started with buying BTC but this delay is driving me nuts.  I don't even dare try and join and exchange on the same laptop in case I disrupt or delay the Bitcoin core download, so I will have to wait ages for verification etc with an exchange even the the wallet has finished downloading.  Does it take everyone this long to get started?  I know there are some quicker wallets but they seem to be less secure and I thought, from what I read, that Bitcoin Core was the best.  But this delay is really putting me off.  Can anyone tell me if I am doing something wrong or if everyone has to go through this initial frustrating delay?
PP
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February 11, 2018, 06:14:35 AM
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Well, it all depends on your internet connection speed and the processor speed.
Bitcoin core needs to sync before you can use it,
"number of blocks left 156941, progress 22.12%, progress increase per hour 0.27%, estimated time left to sync 8 days" is pretty self explanatory.

If you really need a wallet right now, you can use any third party wallet like Electrum. https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?board=98.0

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February 11, 2018, 06:38:05 AM
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Hello, I am trying to buy my first Bitcoin.  I started with this site and with going to the Bitcoin Core link and trying to download it as my wallet.  I had read in the reviews that it could take a long time to download, but this is ridiculous!  I bought a new laptop for this purpose.  I am not at all tech savvy, but the laptop says it has intel core i5 7th gen, 6GB DDR4 memory, 1000GB HDD.  This doesn't mean anything to me, but it might do to someone who could help me with my question.  So I started the download about 4 or 5 days ago.  My computer has been permanently online since then and doing nothing else at all except trying to download Bitcoin Core.  At the moment, it shows two boxes.  One of them says "synchronising with network 2 years and 44 weeks behind"  the other says various things including "number of blocks left 156941, progress 22.12%, progress increase per hour 0.27%, estimated time left to sync 8 days".  Earlier today, the estimated time left to sync was 21 year and 11 weeks, so I guess there has been some progress.  But really?  Should this programme take so long, 5 days already plus another 8 days just to download it??  I am itching to get started with buying BTC but this delay is driving me nuts.  I don't even dare try and join and exchange on the same laptop in case I disrupt or delay the Bitcoin core download, so I will have to wait ages for verification etc with an exchange even the the wallet has finished downloading.  Does it take everyone this long to get started?  I know there are some quicker wallets but they seem to be less secure and I thought, from what I read, that Bitcoin Core was the best.  But this delay is really putting me off.  Can anyone tell me if I am doing something wrong or if everyone has to go through this initial frustrating delay?
PP

Welcome to Bitcoin Pootleberry!
You are on one of the only grueling steps that comes to Bitcoin. You are smart for dedicated a entire PC to your wallets and cryptocurrency needs. This will ensure that you have some sort of separation of resources for your investments. There are two routes you can go with this...

1. You can finish the sync and have a completed Block Index on your PC, which will ensure your wallet is away from anyones control but your own. This is also recommended to be installed to a flashdrive or hard drive away from your PC in the event of a malfunction. There are several other wallets that you could download as well that may provide better download speeds and a better overall design/structure. What you can do to try and speed things up is close the core, restart your PC and ensure nothing is running when it restarts. Connect your PC via Ethernet cable and open the wallet. It will catch itself up back to the sync point and continue on a faster speed. If you are already doing this, maybe you should try upping your speed with your ISP.

2. There is a number of web wallets that can accomplish what the Core does in an acceptable way. BlockChain for instance is the number one website and the original web wallet i'd say. It offers a wallet ID that you could save or print, and you can extract your private address or access on any other application or website that allows a private key upload. You can find a number more by googling "Bitcoin Web Wallet" and ensuring you do your research on each website that pops up.

Thanks for reading!

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Pootleberry Pie
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February 11, 2018, 06:53:11 AM
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Thanks for such a detailed response.  The computer stuff you mention is, sadly, beyond me, but it’s good to know that I should just persevere with it and that it’s a good way to go.  I’ll check out Blickchain too.  Thanks.
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February 11, 2018, 01:26:44 PM
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 #5

I’ll check out Blickchain too.  Thanks.

I would not recommend to use a web wallet.
You can use a lightweight wallet (a wallet which doesn't require you to download the whole blockchain).
Electrum (https://electrum.org/#home) would be such a lightweight wallet. Just download, install and run.

I would suggest reading this: https://cointelegraph.com/bitcoin-for-beginners/what-is-bitcoin-wallets
This pretty much explains which kind of wallets exist and what their pros/cons are.

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February 11, 2018, 02:36:52 PM
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8 days is nothing. You must do it only once. Then it will be there as long as the computer and OS is alive.

I think the bottleneck probably is the mechanical HDD or network speed.

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achow101
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February 11, 2018, 05:47:06 PM
Merited by Foxpup (3)
 #7

But really?  Should this programme take so long, 5 days already plus another 8 days just to download it??
Yes. That is normal.

Bitcoin Core requires the entire blockchain, which currently takes up ~170 GB of disk space. The entire blockchain must be downloaded and validated. This means that you need to have a fast internet connection and a fast processor in order to be able to download the blockchain and process blocks quickly. Furthermore, while validating blocks, Bitcoin Core will need to read many things from the hard drive, and write many things to the hard drive. So a slow hard drive is going to make the sync take even longer.

There are likely 3 things that are causing you to have a slow sync time. Firstly, your laptop has a mechanical hard drive (that's what HDD means). A mechanical hard rive has moving parts and because it has moving parts, it is slow. Thus this is a bottleneck that will slow down your sync time because it takes longer to read and write data to and from the mechanical hard drive.

Secondly, you are using a laptop, which means that you are likely using a WiFi connection. WiFi can be slow. It depends a lot on any interference, the materials between your laptop and the router, and the router that you are using. It's likely that your WiFi connection is not all that fast and thus syncing will take a longer time. Also, WiFi means that there can be more data loss and corruption, so it will take longer for the networking protocols to either resend the data or recover it.

Lastly, you are using a laptop, which means that you are likely using a slow processor. Generally Intel Core i5's are decent, but it depends on what kind of processor you have. Many laptop processors, even if they are Core i5 or Core i7, are very low powered because laptops need to have lower powered components in order to have a better battery life. This means that your laptop could be running a low powered processor which is slowing down the sync as it cannot process blocks quickly.

Does it take everyone this long to get started?
It does for everyone using Bitcoin Core. It really depends on the computer that you are using. For some people, they can be synced in 6 hours. For others, it takes weeks. But for everyone who uses Bitcoin Core, there is always a period of waiting for it to sync when you first get started.

This is also recommended to be installed to a flashdrive or hard drive away from your PC in the event of a malfunction.
No, don't do that. It absolutely is not recommended to do that. The USB protocol and the USB connection is not very fast and not very good for transferring large amounts of data without some corruption. Storing the Bitcoin Core data on an external drive is a good way to have it corrupted. There have been many more cases of people's Bitcoin Core data directories being corrupted routinely when using an external drive than when using an internal drive.

2. There is a number of web wallets that can accomplish what the Core does in an acceptable way. BlockChain for instance is the number one website and the original web wallet i'd say. It offers a wallet ID that you could save or print, and you can extract your private address or access on any other application or website that allows a private key upload. You can find a number more by googling "Bitcoin Web Wallet" and ensuring you do your research on each website that pops up.
Don't use web wallets. If you want to use a wallet that does not have to do this kind of syncing, use a wallet like Electrum. Don't use web wallets.

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February 11, 2018, 07:06:22 PM
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If you go to your core window and look at the menu bar at the top, you will see a pull down element called help. Click on this and select debug window. This will give you a couple of tabs - Network traffic, and peers. Have a look at these. Peers wil tell you the nodes you are talking to, and network traffic will give you an idea of the efficiency of your network connetion.

One possible bottleneck if you are using Windows is your firewall. You might be able to speed things up by changing a few of the settings.

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February 24, 2018, 07:24:04 PM
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Use Electrum instead of bitcoin core is the best advise I can give.
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February 26, 2018, 12:58:50 AM
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Use Electrum instead of bitcoin core is the best advise I can give.
Not that good advice. Electrum is thin client instead of full node.

It is like suggesting to take Metro to a guy who is complaining that his car is going too slow.

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February 27, 2018, 08:15:37 PM
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I used bitcoin core for a while, it was a pain in the ....

Electrum was a breeze, just did what it was supposed to do.
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February 27, 2018, 08:22:41 PM
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You are doing everything right. It just takes a long time to sync with the network. Once you are it will be easy to stay synced. In fact the software gets kinda boring after syncing. It may be a hassle, but running a node like you are doing offers the highest security.

The most important thing is to make backup copies of your wallet.dat file. As long as you have a secured backup, like in a safe deposit box at the bank, all problems are fixable.  Just let your computer run till synced.

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February 28, 2018, 01:38:25 PM
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Use Electrum instead of bitcoin core is the best advise I can give.
Not that good advice. Electrum is thin client instead of full node.

It is like suggesting to take Metro to a guy who is complaining that his car is going too slow.

Which might be the correct suggestion if the guy doesn't understand what the Metro is or why he might want to take it.

A better response though would be to find out WHY the guy chose Bitcoin Core in the first place?  Does he really have any interest in supporting the network with a Full Node, or did he just want a simple wallet and thought that "Bitcoin Core" sounded more official?

Here's another analogy for you...

Perhaps he acquired a safe with walls of 20 cm of steel and 3 feet of cooncrete, as well as an entire staff of armed guards, and a complete home security and monitoring system so he can protect a plastic toy that can be replaced with $5.  Now he is complaining about how long it is going to take to install all this security, and someone suggests he just cancel the contracts and store it in a free safe that he can find on craigslist.

MANY people spend more on bandwidth and storage to operate a Full Node than they are actually storing in the wallet itself.  If they WANT to help the network, that's great. But, if they just don't know any better then they may find that they MUCH prefer the experience of using a simpler wallet.

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