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Author Topic: Wallet Backup questions  (Read 62 times)
callmejoe
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November 28, 2019, 02:45:19 AM
 #1

so a few ways i gather to back up bitcoin wallet
dumpwallet
backupwallet
seed generation

a few questions
1. dumpwallet:  can someone point me somewhere that explains what exactly i am looking at in the text file? i see wallet addresses and i guess private keys. what is meant by reserve and script? and why is an entire block of addresses repeated?
2. backupwallet: is this the same as just copying the wallet.dat file directly to another location?
3. what is the best back up method? should i do all 3? dumpwallet, backupwallet and seed?

thanks

 

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November 28, 2019, 03:00:23 AM
 #2

1. dumpwallet:  can someone point me somewhere that explains what exactly i am looking at in the text file? i see wallet addresses and i guess private keys. what is meant by reserve and script? and why is an entire block of addresses repeated?
Basically the private keys (and the redeem scripts for your P2SH/segwit addresses)... Basically, this is why you see the block of addresses repeated... one block shows the private key... one block is the redeem script.

reserve = "receiving addresses"
change = "change"
script = the redeem script for the displayed address


Quote
2. backupwallet: is this the same as just copying the wallet.dat file directly to another location?
In short... yes. It is also the same as the "File -> Backup Wallet..." option in the GUI. It basically just copies the wallet.dat to the specified location.


Quote
3. what is the best back up method? should i do all 3? dumpwallet, backupwallet and seed?
In my opinion, the best method is to simply backup your wallet.dat (either manually or using the 'backupwallet' option). It's simple, quick and effective. Your private keys remain encrypted with your wallet passphrase... they are output unencrypted if you use 'dumpwallet'... and if you have an "HD enabled" wallet, you will be able to recover everything by simply restoring the wallet.dat and loading it up in a fully synced Bitcoin Core instance.

Worst comes to worst... you'd be able to load that wallet.dat in an unsynced Bitcoin Core and run 'dumpwallet' anyway.

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November 28, 2019, 03:09:38 AM
 #3

3. what is the best back up method? should i do all 3? dumpwallet, backupwallet and seed?
It depends on your backup preferences.
Dumpwallet can be printed on one or more A4 size papers (for offline physical backup).
Backupwallet obviously can only be stored in a file storage device.
SEED? No, you can only backup the "extended private masterkey" (xprv) from your dumpwallet file but this wont restore the private keys that you've imported to the wallet.

2. Yes
1. Those that starts with "5, L or K" before the date and time are the private keys of the "addr=" in the same line.
I believe "reserve=1" was indicated because those aren't used yet or no label but Core initially loaded the wallet.dat with (1000?) key pairs.
Script should be your address(es)' Redeem script, if you have a P2SH-Segwit or imported P2SH addresses.

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November 28, 2019, 03:10:43 AM
 #4

1. I will try to help, for dump wallet, I do not really know about that, so maybe someone will explain more about this. I found a good post about this, may be can help you to understand.

To export all the keys, you have to use dumpwallet command. The command will export all your keys and your master private key which can generate any future address unencrypted so use it with care.

1.Go to help>debug window>console.
2. Key in this if you have your wallet encrypted:
Code:
walletpassphrase PASSWORDHERE 600
replacing the relevant parts.
3. Create a blank txt file in whatever directory you want and name it walletdump.txt. For example, I stored mine in C:/ with the name walletdump.txt.
4. Key in this:
Code:
dumpwallet C:/walletdump.txt
. The command will export every of your private keys into that text file. You can change the directory if you stored your text file on another directory.

But, if you just need 1 private key, you can use command dumpprivkey and follow with your Bitcoin address. You can follow step 1 - 3 above, and then you type command
Code:
dumpprivkey YOURWALLETADDRESS

2. Yes, backup wallet is mean you need to copy your wallet.dat file to another location. But make sure if you are creating password to open this wallet, you must remember that password too.

3. You don't need to do all of that way. If you already have a seed passphrase, you can safe this one only. But, if you have a double backup file of the wallet, it will help if you lost one of them.

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callmejoe
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November 28, 2019, 04:24:55 AM
 #5

great explanations.  thank you.

so with the seed phrase, that would restore the extended private key which would then restore all my addresses?  but not any addresses i imported (not that i have any), is that right?
seedphrase seems reasonable way to store a backup off-line

now that i look closer at the dumpwallet file i do notice some change addresses along with labels next to addresses i have used already.
i definitely dont like keeping that dumpwallet file in plain text though

i do have an hd walllet, so copying the wallet.dat seems good, but the file can certainly become corrupted.


 
nc50lc
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November 28, 2019, 04:29:18 AM
Merited by callmejoe (1)
 #6

great explanations.  thank you.

so with the seed phrase, that would restore the extended private key which would then restore all my addresses?  but not any addresses i imported (not that i have any), is that right?
seedphrase seems reasonable way to store a backup off-line
Bitcoin Core doesn't have a SEED Phrase.
You can get the master private key from your dumpwallet file if your wallet is "HD", and yes, it will restore all of your address using a client that supports "master keys" if you've selected the correct derivation path.
Or get the keys using tools like iancoleman to get all of your private keys from it to be able to import to Bitcoin Core.

IMO, for Bitcoin Core, it's for the "last resort" in case your wallet.dat got corrupted.

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November 28, 2019, 04:38:36 AM
Merited by callmejoe (1)
 #7

so with the seed phrase, that would restore the extended private key which would then restore all my addresses?  but not any addresses i imported (not that i have any), is that right?
seedphrase seems reasonable way to store a backup off-line
Bitcoin Core doesn't have a SEED Phrase.
You can get the master private key from your dumpwallet file if your wallet is "HD", and yes, it will restore all of your address using a client that supports "master keys" if you've selected the correct derivation path.
Or get the keys using tools like iancoleman to get all of your private keys from it to be able to import to Bitcoin Core.

IMO, for Bitcoin Core, it's for the "last resort" in case your wallet.dat got corrupted.

As noted by nc50lc, Bitcoin Core does not use "seed phrases" aka "recovery phrase" aka "seed mnemonics" aka "12/24 words" etc... The closest you can get is the "hdseed" value in the 'dumpwallet' output. Displayed in a WIF format... you could theoretically use this to recreate your wallet using this 'hdseed' WIF key and the "createwallet" and "sethdseed" commands.

Again, this will not be able to restore any imported private keys... it will only be able to restore addresses that were originally generated from the seed... and it also means that you've potentially exposed your unencrypted private keys and hdseed by having to use the 'dumpwallet' command to find the "hdseed" value in the first place.


Keeping (multiple) copies of the encrypted wallet.dat is really the best solution, in my opinion.

callmejoe
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November 28, 2019, 04:45:54 AM
 #8

ok i understand now.  i was thinking of the hdseed was the same as a seed phrase.  it's not.

i was just looking at
Code:
bitcoin-cli help hdseed
and from what i read i had a feeling i wasnt thinking about it right.



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