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Author Topic: Recovering electrum wallet without wallet.dat  (Read 145 times)
Anteri
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February 17, 2018, 12:50:40 PM
 #1

I've created electrum wallet several years ago and wasn't very wise about backups back there. In fact, I just didn't understand what exactly I should've had saved.
Now when I've tried to finally recover the wallet I found out that I don't have wallet.dat file. Also I've never created a seed from what I can remember.
I have:
- bitcoin.dat file
- all the info about the single transaction of purchasing bitcoin (it is the only thing I've ever did with my wallet)
- QR-code with which I can login into my wallet but only in read-only mode
- Some password that absolutely is related to my wallet, but I genuinely can not remember what exactly it is and don't even know where I can enter it. (That's not the seed, just not very long string of letters and digits. I also doubt it is private key - the procedure of exporting it looks not-so-obvious and I, unfortunately, wasn't great in reading and understanding tutorials back there)

Is there any chance I can recover the wallet with any of this, or without the wallet.dat I'm doomed?
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mocacinno
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February 17, 2018, 12:53:30 PM
 #2

I've created electrum wallet several years ago and wasn't very wise about backups back there. In fact, I just didn't understand what exactly I should've had saved.
Now when I've tried to finally recover the wallet I found out that I don't have wallet.dat file. Also I've never created a seed from what I can remember.
I have:
- bitcoin.dat file
- all the info about the single transaction of purchasing bitcoin (it is the only thing I've ever did with my wallet)
- QR-code with which I can login into my wallet but only in read-only mode
- Some password that absolutely is related to my wallet, but I genuinely can not remember what exactly it is and don't even know where I can enter it. (That's not the seed, just not very long string of letters and digits. I also doubt it is private key - the procedure of exporting it looks not-so-obvious and I, unfortunately, wasn't great in reading and understanding tutorials back there)

Is there any chance I can recover the wallet with any of this, or without the wallet.dat I'm doomed?

bitcoin.dat file => maybe, it could *potentially* be your wallet, a .dat extension could also mean it's a wallet that has been generated using bitcoin core.
tx info => useless in regards to recovering your wallet
qr code => probably useless, it's probably the qr of a deposit address (since you say it's read only)
password > only usefull *if* it's the pasword from your bitcoin.dat. IF it's a private key, it *could* be the private key of one of your addresses... It would be even better if it were a master private key. Electrum's master private key starts with xprv. Could you tell us what's the first letter and how many characters this password has?

Anteri
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February 17, 2018, 01:15:07 PM
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Thank you for the reply!

bitcoin.dat file => maybe, it could *potentially* be your wallet, a .dat extension could also mean it's a wallet that has been generated using bitcoin core.
If it is so, could you please tell how I can use it or where I can read about it? It isn't available for choosing in the attempt to open existing wallet. And all the search keeps pointing me to the wallet.dat file (damn these too smart search engines)

password > only usefull *if* it's the pasword from your bitcoin.dat. IF it's a private key, it *could* be the private key of one of your addresses... It would be even better if it were a master private key. Electrum's master private key starts with xprv. Could you tell us what's the first letter and how many characters this password has?
It is 34 characters long and starts with digits '14'.
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February 17, 2018, 01:32:21 PM
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 #4

Thank you for the reply!

bitcoin.dat file => maybe, it could *potentially* be your wallet, a .dat extension could also mean it's a wallet that has been generated using bitcoin core.
If it is so, could you please tell how I can use it or where I can read about it? It isn't available for choosing in the attempt to open existing wallet. And all the search keeps pointing me to the wallet.dat file (damn these too smart search engines)

password > only usefull *if* it's the pasword from your bitcoin.dat. IF it's a private key, it *could* be the private key of one of your addresses... It would be even better if it were a master private key. Electrum's master private key starts with xprv. Could you tell us what's the first letter and how many characters this password has?
It is 34 characters long and starts with digits '14'.

Usually, electrum's default wallet is called "default_wallet", There are a couple things you can try:
1) find out wether it's an ascii file, or not (in linux, just type "file bitcoin.dat".
2) you can try to open a copy of the .dat-file using notepad++
3) you can install bitcoin core, rename bitcoin.dat to wallet.dat and place it in the default directory (~/.bitcoin on a linux box), then start core and look in the debug.log to check if the wallet was valid
4) you can rename a copy of the bitcoin.dat to default_wallet and see if you can open it with electrum (altough i doubt it'll work).
5) you can use db_dump to see if it's a berkelydb dbfile

34 characters starting with 14 doesn't sound like a standard private key generated with electrum, sorry...

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February 17, 2018, 02:25:55 PM
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 #5

34 characters starting with 14 sounds like a bitcoin address

@mocacinno electrum's deterministic wallets predate bip32 meaning the master private key in pre 2.0 wallets does not begin with xprv. It's just stored as a large hexadecimal number.

Electrum's default wallet used to be called wallet.dat in the past

@OP make a backup of that bitcoin.dat file and then attempt to open it various bitcoin wallet software. Perhaps go through the programs on your hard drive to see what wallets you installed in the past so as to narrow down the possibilities.
Anteri
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February 17, 2018, 06:52:00 PM
 #6

@Abdussamad I was very sure I've been using Electrum back there (I even saved it's installer for some reason), but it turns out the file was from Bitcoin core. Thanks for the suggestions, though!

@mocacinno thank you so much for pointing me to Bitcoin core!
Renamed file was opened correctly and I was able to export private key (what I thought of as password turned out to be my address, by the way) and create electrum wallet from it.

There is only single question left - do I need to do somehing else before using that new electrum wallet? I've seen mention of sweeping private keys in some tutorials, but these were about creating clean wallet and than importing key (I guess, create from key option was added later?)
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February 17, 2018, 08:27:45 PM
 #7

Yes you should sweep your private key to your new electrum wallet. With sweeping your coins get transferred to an address in your new electrum wallet so backing them up is as easy as backing up your electrum wallet i.e. you just write down the seed words. Here's a guide that tells you how to sweep.

Anteri
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February 18, 2018, 02:05:07 AM
 #8

Thank you very much for the help!
Problem solved.
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