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Author Topic: Electrum wallet started from existing seed appears empty with no history  (Read 148 times)
AU4bPc4s
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February 11, 2018, 11:10:00 PM
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New MacBook, so downloaded Electrum wallet (3.0.6) for Mac.
Created wallet from existing seed, so far so good.
But the interface of the wallet has a green dot on network, while showing no transactions in the history and a zero balance of bitcoins.
Meanwhile, same wallet on prior Mac shows multiple transactions and a non-zero balance, that one happens to be on version 3.0.2

If this is just an issue of synchronization taking a long time, then I would expect to see "Synchronizing..." or a timer or something somewhere, but don't see any of that. Is there a way to confirm that the wallet is "just syncing, give it a few hours", vs. a bigger problem?
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pooya87
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February 12, 2018, 04:39:10 AM
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If this is just an issue of synchronization taking a long time, then I would expect to see "Synchronizing..." or a timer or something somewhere, but don't see any of that. Is there a way to confirm that the wallet is "just syncing, give it a few hours", vs. a bigger problem?

unfortunately this is an interface bug with Electrum that  does not show the correct status of the wallet during synchronization in these new versions. previously it showed a circle arrow thingy even during the initial block header download.
do what @nerioseole said above. the time it takes is the time that it takes you to download a ~40 MB file and depends on the server speed.

this will be fixed in 3.1 which is the upcoming version.

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February 12, 2018, 07:48:23 AM
Merited by squatter (1)
 #3

He's seeing a green dot guys.

Click on the green dot and tell us what the value is for blockchain? There are also other steps you can try which are listed here. Things like switching servers and checking addresses.
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February 12, 2018, 04:37:24 PM
Last edit: February 12, 2018, 04:49:37 PM by AU4bPc4s
 #4

You can check the size of the file blockchain_headers.  If the file is >40.7 MB - then you are in synch.

On a Mac, open Finder, select GO -> Go to Folder -> enter ~/.electrum to see the above file.

If everything is in synch, and still don't see your history, then you most likely have the wrong seed.

Thanks for that tip @nerioseole. The blockchain_headers file is showing as 40.7 MB. And as @Abdussamad noted, I was already seeing the green dot.

He's seeing a green dot guys.

Click on the green dot and tell us what the value is for blockchain? There are also other steps you can try which are listed here. Things like switching servers and checking addresses.

When I click on the green dot, I see "Blockchain: 508843 blocks", and I see I am connected to 10 nodes. Is that the correct block count?
I will check out the other steps you linked to, and then report back.

==> Update: read the FAQ, tried switching servers, I do see that when Electrum connects to a different server the dot is briefly red, then blue-circling-arrows, then green again (for most servers, some that I tried were 64 blocks behind so they stayed red / blue). Not changing what my balance or history is. The FAQ suggests changing the gap limit if I had changed it before... I did not _consciously_ change it before, but is it possible that the default is different in Electrum 3.0.2, and that I should change it actively here in 3.0.6. to whatever the default value was in 3.0.2.? The final tip in the FAQ is to search for addresses; I will have to try that later - but since nothing else looks familiar I'm guessing that will probably just confirm that things aren't working. Maybe the best thing to do is to create an entirely new wallet with an entirely new seed, then spend the transaction fee to move bitcoin from my old wallet on my old laptop to the new wallet that I set up on the new laptop?

Tips and advice welcome here. Thanks!


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February 13, 2018, 12:05:34 AM
Merited by Abdussamad (5)
 #5

Created wallet from existing seed, so far so good.
But the interface of the wallet has a green dot on network, while showing no transactions in the history and a zero balance of bitcoins.

Did your existing seed have been created by electrum?
If not, the problem is probably the wrong derivation path. Electrum uses m/0/n for receiving addresses and m/1/n for change addresses.
Depending on which wallet you have used prior to electrum you might change the derivation path when restoring from the seed.

You could also try to create a bunch of new addresses and see if those which contain your balance will appear. Use the following command:
Code:
for x in range(0, 100):
     print wallet.create_new_address(False)


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February 13, 2018, 05:20:11 AM
 #6

He's seeing a green dot guys.

Click on the green dot and tell us what the value is for blockchain? There are also other steps you can try which are listed here. Things like switching servers and checking addresses.

i've always thought the circle remains green since it is connected and downloading! seems like i was mistaken.

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February 13, 2018, 07:20:53 AM
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Did your existing seed have been created by electrum?
If not, the problem is probably the wrong derivation path. Electrum uses m/0/n for receiving addresses and m/1/n for change addresses.
Depending on which wallet you have used prior to electrum you might change the derivation path when restoring from the seed.

You could also try to create a bunch of new addresses and see if those which contain your balance will appear. Use the following command:
Code:
for x in range(0, 100):
     print wallet.create_new_address(False)




@bob123, it used to be a MultibitHD wallet that I converted to Electrum some months ago, using the seed words. So if that has something to do with it, then what is the fix?

Regarding your suggestion to create a bunch of addresses... can you explain that in more detail, I'm still sort of new to this so I don't understand how creating addresses would make my balance re-appear, and also not sure how to execute the code you suggest. Thanks for the help!
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February 13, 2018, 07:58:41 AM
Last edit: February 13, 2018, 08:26:27 AM by Abdussamad
 #8


Did your existing seed have been created by electrum?
If not, the problem is probably the wrong derivation path. Electrum uses m/0/n for receiving addresses and m/1/n for change addresses.
Depending on which wallet you have used prior to electrum you might change the derivation path when restoring from the seed.

You could also try to create a bunch of new addresses and see if those which contain your balance will appear. Use the following command:
Code:
for x in range(0, 100):
     print wallet.create_new_address(False)




@bob123, it used to be a MultibitHD wallet that I converted to Electrum some months ago, using the seed words. So if that has something to do with it, then what is the fix?

Regarding your suggestion to create a bunch of addresses... can you explain that in more detail, I'm still sort of new to this so I don't understand how creating addresses would make my balance re-appear, and also not sure how to execute the code you suggest. Thanks for the help!

That is effectively the same as changing the gap limit.

Edit: OK so i know what's the most likely problem. The problem is that you made a mistake when entering the seed during the restoration process. So redo the restore again this time paying attention to what's mentioned in the last paragraph here

edit 2: Also make sure you enter the correct derivation path as mentioned in the link above.

With bip39 wallets you don't enjoy the checks and balances built into electrum's own seed so you need to be mindful of these things yourself.
AU4bPc4s
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February 13, 2018, 04:46:26 PM
 #9

Abdussamad, thanks, changing the derivation path completely fixed it!

So, as a relatively new user, I was tripped up by this because:
1. when making the wallet, Electrum presents the derivation path it prefers and says "if you don't know what this is, just leave it as it is", and I did not know what it was... typically told to keep the seed words safe, I don't recall being told to keep the derivation path saved as well.
2. I had done the conversion from MultibitHD to Electrum on my prior mac some months ago; I then assumed that from that moment on it was now an Electrum wallet, but apparently it still behaves as an old MultibitHD wallet (?).

I clearly still have much to learn. And/or many UX/UI improvements are still ready for the taking in the world of bitcoin :-)

Thanks all for your help on this forum, truly appreciate it!
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February 13, 2018, 07:52:04 PM
 #10

2. I had done the conversion from MultibitHD to Electrum on my prior mac some months ago; I then assumed that from that moment on it was now an Electrum wallet, but apparently it still behaves as an old MultibitHD wallet (?).

Basically you imported your multibitHD seed into electrum.
Now the point is: MultibitHD and Electrum derive the private keys differently from the seed.
Look at it like mathematical equations. MultibitHD and Electrum are "calculating different things" to get your private keys.

With the derivation path you tell the program how exactly to derive the addresses from the private keys.

That led to your wallet in electrum generating different private keys than MultibitHD had.


The derivation path is composed like this:
Code:
m / purpose' / coin_type' / account' / change / address_index

But electrum, somehow, uses its own derivation path.. ignoring the BIP44 specification.
To be fair, quite a few wallets ignore those specifications.

Bitcoins derivation path should be (according to BIP44):
Code:
m/44'/0'/'0'/0/<n>

Electrum uses m/0'/<n>.

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