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Author Topic: How to backup bitcoins?  (Read 4558 times)
hongus
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October 06, 2011, 08:06:27 AM
 #1

If I were to reformat my computer and I wanted to keep all my bitcoins in my current wallet. How do I transfer them onto my next computer? Like is there a file I backup?

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pekv2
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October 06, 2011, 10:12:39 AM
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If I were to reformat my computer and I wanted to keep all my bitcoins in my current wallet. How do I transfer them onto my next computer? Like is there a file I backup?

Take a look here.

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Securing_your_wallet#Backup_just_wallet.dat_.2840MB.29

Has WIndows, linux and mac locations.

Basically, you can copy the wallet.dat to a truecypted USB stick, CD-RW, hard drive partition etc. If you're not bothered by having security, a USB, CD-RW will be fine.

Then, copy the wallet.dat to the new OS or/we
hongus
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October 06, 2011, 03:21:22 PM
 #3

So if I wanted to access my wallet on the other computer, I just replace that wallet.dat with mine?

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dbrownson
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October 06, 2011, 03:36:25 PM
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yes!
Gabi
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October 06, 2011, 03:53:31 PM
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Your bitcoins are in the wallet.dat file. If you lose it, you lose the bitcoins inside it.
freemoney458
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October 06, 2011, 08:04:58 PM
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Your bitcoins are in the wallet.dat file. If you lose it, you lose the bitcoins inside it.
From a practical point of view, it is correct that bitcoins are in the wallet.dat.
This is also the reason why replacing the wallet.dat with a previously backuped wallet.dat (from the other computer) gives you access to the bitcoins from the other computer.

From a technical point of view, it is  wrong that bitcoins are in the wallet.dat.
The bitcoins themselves reside in the bitcoin network.
This common misconception can lead to a massive security problem.

Short explanation:
The wallet.dat contains the private keys which enable anybody who knows these keys to spend the bitcoins associated with these keys, now or in the future.
So regardless how few bitcoins you currently have in your wallet.dat (it might even be zero), if somebody gets access to it and copies it, this person will be any time in the future be able to spend the bitcoins associated to your wallet.dat.
It is the equivalent of making a copy of the keys to a high security vault which is empty, but someday in the future when the vault is full of wealth the persons which made the copy of the keys will be able to open the vault and empty it completely.

So make sure that right from the beginning you secure your wallet.dat by e.g. encryption of a freshly created wallet.dat.
Personally, I like the following article best:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=17240.msg221715#msg221715
pekv2
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October 06, 2011, 11:48:14 PM
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So if I wanted to access my wallet on the other computer, I just replace that wallet.dat with mine?

Just make sure the wallet that is being replaced does not have Bitcoins in it "back it up or something", they do not merge together. I don't know how much knowledge you have with bitcoin, just making a suggestion.
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