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strimbello
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May 23, 2020, 08:43:13 AM
Merited by LoyceV (6)
 #1

Hi there,

I've got my old computer back from storage (2011-12) and have some older wallet.dat files on there (I've experimented with a lot of coins, but mined bitcoin as well back then).

I need some good and up to date advice or guides on how to access these wallets.
I've tried downloading bitcoin core 19.1 but the wallet files seem to "go past date" or something. I needed to de-activate pruning. (I did so, but then it downloads the while tsunami of data again at 1990s speeds:( )

If I download the whole blockchain again on bitcoin core, then shut it down and replace the wallet.dat it generated with my wallet from 2011, will it work?
Or are these older pre 2012 wallets incompatible?
If so... is there a way to get into these wallets (I have the passwords and so on)

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May 23, 2020, 09:18:32 AM
 #2

If you don't want to download the entire blockchain you should be able to export the private keys of the addresses where you are keeping your coins without having to wait for the wallet to sync.
You do that from the console window by using the dumpprivkey command.

Take a look at this guide for reference:
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Transferring_coins_from_Bitcoin-Qt_to_Electrum
 

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May 23, 2020, 09:30:25 AM
 #3

If you don't want to download the entire blockchain you should be able to export the private keys of the addresses where you are keeping your coins without having to wait for the wallet to sync.
You do that from the console window by using the dumpprivkey command.

Take a look at this guide for reference:
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Transferring_coins_from_Bitcoin-Qt_to_Electrum
 

I don't know the address or anything, I just have the .dat file itself from a backup (all the other info was lost) and the passphrase.
I'm willing to download the full blockchain again, that's not the issue, but I was wondering why there's no good info out there to really restore an old wallet file.

So if I have 2011.dat for example, and rename it to wallet.dat and place it in the bitcoin folder where the new wallet is then restart bt core then it should work?
I heard older wallet files were incompatible since 2012 or something.

PS: before anyone asks, no, there's not a fortune on there probably, I just want to make sure the balances were emptied, as I can't remember what I did with it back during these days. I didn't take bitcoin too seriously in the beginning (my bad).
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May 23, 2020, 09:32:49 AM
 #4

I don't know the address or anything, I just have the .dat file itself from a backup (all the other info was lost) and the passphrase.
I'm willing to download the full blockchain again, that's not the issue, but I was wondering why there's no good info out there to really restore an old wallet file.
Even if you do know the address, if it's an old backup, it would be better for you to resync the whole blockchain to ensure that you'll be able to get all the coins in the addresses within your wallet.dat.

So if I have 2011.dat for example, and rename it to wallet.dat and place it in the bitcoin folder where the new wallet is then restart bt core then it should work?
I heard older wallet files were incompatible since 2012 or something.
Yes. Do keep a backup of your wallet.dat though (both your current and 2011). It's true that the wallet.dat files had its structured modified slightly but its not wholly incompatible. The client would be able to identify and upgrade your wallet.dat to ensure compatibility. Using cmd, navigate to the folder where you have your Bitcoin Core installed and start it with -upgradewallet flag.

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May 23, 2020, 10:12:05 AM
 #5

If your last transactions were made in 2012, you don't even need to download the entire blockchain to see if there's any balance left. Assuming the wallet.dat is still compatible, you should see something quickly and search the address on any block explorer to confirm before your download completes.
Just make sure you keep enough backups before doing anything!

If I download the whole blockchain again on bitcoin core, then shut it down and replace the wallet.dat it generated with my wallet from 2011, will it work?
You can copy/replace the wallet.dat before downloading everything (quit Bitcoin Core before replacing it).

If you have "old" Bitcoins, you'll also have Forkcoins (worth about 5% of your Bitcoins). Make sure you know what you're doing before "claiming" them, you wouldn't be the first to loose their Bitcoins to a bad Forkcoin wallet.

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May 23, 2020, 10:46:19 AM
 #6

How many address with balance did you have?
if you have BTC/DOGE/LTC on 12th May 2014, You have also some CLAM coins  [around 4.60 per each address]
Now this coin have a low value (@0.40 euro cent) , but last year they were traded @17-18 euros per coin Roll Eyes
https://coinmarketcap.com/it/currencies/clams/

Always check before the method/wallet you're using to claim your coins...

.
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..........
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May 23, 2020, 10:54:05 AM
 #7

thx ranichigo,
The upgradewallet command will be necessary I guess, I'm first re-syncing the whole blockchain to have the best starting situation to do all of this.

Others told me I could see the balances, but I don't know where I can see these old adresses. (I only have a password written down on a text file and the .dat file, all other info is lost).

To go to cmd in bitcoin core, I just need to go to settings I presume? Or do you mean command on a linux device? (I'm using windows as you might have guessed Smiley.

thanks for all the help so far

I don't know the address or anything, I just have the .dat file itself from a backup (all the other info was lost) and the passphrase.
I'm willing to download the full blockchain again, that's not the issue, but I was wondering why there's no good info out there to really restore an old wallet file.
Even if you do know the address, if it's an old backup, it would be better for you to resync the whole blockchain to ensure that you'll be able to get all the coins in the addresses within your wallet.dat.

So if I have 2011.dat for example, and rename it to wallet.dat and place it in the bitcoin folder where the new wallet is then restart bt core then it should work?
I heard older wallet files were incompatible since 2012 or something.
Yes. Do keep a backup of your wallet.dat though (both your current and 2011). It's true that the wallet.dat files had its structured modified slightly but its not wholly incompatible. The client would be able to identify and upgrade your wallet.dat to ensure compatibility. Using cmd, navigate to the folder where you have your Bitcoin Core installed and start it with -upgradewallet flag.

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May 23, 2020, 11:21:08 AM
 #8

Others told me I could see the balances, but I don't know where I can see these old adresses. (I only have a password written down on a text file and the .dat file, all other info is lost).
Would've worked only if you are absolutely certain where all your coins are which is nearly always not the case.
To go to cmd in bitcoin core, I just need to go to settings I presume? Or do you mean command on a linux device? (I'm using windows as you might have guessed Smiley.

thanks for all the help so far


Command prompt allows you to run Bitcoin Core with a specific flag. If you don't have a basic knowledge of using command prompt, I would encourage you to use this method instead, courtesy of achow101:
https://achow101.com/2016/07/Bitcoin-Core-Troubleshooting#option-startup

Add -upgradewallet to the string at the end.

If you do not already have a shortcut for Bitcoin Core, go to the start menu, right click on the Bitcoin Core program and select open file location. You should be able to see a shortcut for Bitcoin Core in that folder. Right click on its properties and in the target box, just add -upgradewallet to the end. After doing so once and seeing Bitcoin Core start up, you can do the same to remove the -upgradewallet flag from the shortcut.

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May 23, 2020, 11:48:02 AM
 #9

Thanks Ranochio, I have a knowledge of using command prompt (using cisco command line and windows batch files is no prob either) just wasn't shure what you meant. It's clear now. I'll start bticon-qt with the -upgradewallet and then -rescan as well.
If the blockchain is downloaded I'll try my wallets. I'm indeed not sure if everything was emptied (might have been some 'small' leftovers there, that I didn't bother with at the time, I'll surely let you know how it goes once I've opened these older ones.
I didn't know about the upgade command, so thanks for that.
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May 23, 2020, 12:12:58 PM
 #10

I don't want to be that guy, but is the wallet truly yours, or did you buy it online as an attempt to crack it?

We've been seeing that a lot lately, and it's a complete waste of everyones' time.

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May 23, 2020, 01:01:33 PM
 #11

I don't want to be that guy
Strimbello registered in 2011.

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May 23, 2020, 01:06:44 PM
 #12

Strimbello registered in 2011.
And has been inactive since July 2017, and just woke up to start this thread.

It could be a hacked account, it could not. I'm not saying that his case is not genuine; but seeing how many of this situations I've seen on this couple of months since I've been back to the forum.... well.... I tend to distrut everyone in certain situations (yes, no matter the rank). Besides, if it's a bought account/wallet, there's nothing stopping OP from lying; but still

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May 23, 2020, 02:22:06 PM
Last edit: May 23, 2020, 05:02:27 PM by mprep
 #13

Eh, ok ... didn't expect that. First of all, if I have an old wallet file and find it... and want help, where should I go to? This forum seems like the first stop no?
Second, if you doubt what I type, well, that's fine with me. Who cares.

I'm actually trying to restore over 15 wallets man, I've been in bitcoin since exactly July 2010 if you like to know.



I don't want to be that guy, but is the wallet truly yours, or did you buy it online as an attempt to crack it?

We've been seeing that a lot lately, and it's a complete waste of everyones' time.

I have my own wallets on my own hard drive yes. If you think helping people with tech issues is a waste of your time, then why are you on here anyway? I would gladly show you how wrong you are, but maybe you're the bad guy after my information ? (yes, you can turn everything around that way).

I've not touched this material in years, ... getting my old pc back last week I suddendly started to re-scan all my hard drives for .dat files had to put them in HDD enclosures to do so.
I've mined with a CPU and GPU even, I've been through the LTC starting, the NXT launch, the Pbmining ponzi... I'm not a nood who stubled on a wallet file. And even if I were, I would indeed have the same exact questions than the ones I have yes, that's the nature of bitcoin.
If you're afraid about helping me is a waste of time, then by all means, don't help me and feel great about yourself.




Strimbello registered in 2011.
And has been inactive since July 2017, and just woke up to start this thread.

It could be a hacked account, it could not. I'm not saying that his case is not genuine; but seeing how many of this situations I've seen on this couple of months since I've been back to the forum.... well.... I tend to distrut everyone in certain situations (yes, no matter the rank). Besides, if it's a bought account/wallet, there's nothing stopping OP from lying; but still

The sad part is, that I have no way to show you that my story is true.
So maybe this whole forum is useless? If you want to show tech support to people, but you're branded a fraud or 'hacked account' the moment you ask something, then what's the point?

What can I do to "proof" you wrong without doxing myself? Nothing actually.

So :
guy asks for help with restoring old wallet file
guy is automatically branded a hacked account, and a fraud.



[moderator's note: consecutive posts merged]
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May 23, 2020, 02:50:13 PM
 #14

So :
guy asks for help with restoring old wallet file
guy is automatically branded a hacked account, and a fraud.
Don't worry about it too much, when we've seen too many scammers we might start thinking everyone's a scammer. There are still real users around, and that's what this forum is for Smiley

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May 23, 2020, 02:54:14 PM
 #15

So :
guy asks for help with restoring old wallet file
guy is automatically branded a hacked account, and a fraud.
Don't worry about it too much, when we've seen too many scammers we might start thinking everyone's a scammer. There are still real users around, and that's what this forum is for Smiley

Thank you ... if I start asking personal info, or shill an altcoin, then you can worry Smiley
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May 23, 2020, 02:55:35 PM
 #16

----
It was not really about that; but rather about the huge amount of wallets without passwords that are being sold these days (that can't be unlocked in a human lifespan). Most recent case being this one. If you say the wallet is really yours, there is no reason to not believe you; and the only thing I wanted to make sure was that it was really the case.

Now going back to your case...

Do you know if all the wallet files are from bitcoin; or could they be mixed with other altcoins? If you are not sure about it; you can follow one of these 4 procedures:

There are 2 3 ways :
1. Download client for cryptocurrency you think you own/use in past and load wallet.dat into that wallet client/application
2. Open your wallet.dat with any text editor and look for text/string which represent a cryptocurrency (on Bitcoin Core, usually list of the address are on bottom of file/line). It's painfully slow method and i don't recommend this method.
For example, on my Bitcoin testnet wallet, there are 14.6K lines and i found list of my address on line 14357
3. Use pywallet (https://github.com/jackjack-jj/pywallet) to get list of address of your wallet.dat. Check https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/a/25315 for more information

Make sure you backup your wallet.dat before doing anything else.

Actually just search for "name" and the address will be right next to it.

It's from another thread from some months ago with a similar case; old wallet files

If you don't know in which address the coins are, you can dump the whole wallet with --dumpwallet. That will create a file that you can open with a text editor, and will contain the private masterkey and every private key with its correcponding address. You can manually check them, or simply sweep all/the masterkey

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May 23, 2020, 03:04:30 PM
 #17

Csmiami
Yes, I know what these wallets are from, as I've put them in a directory named 'marscoin' 'litecoin' and so on Smiley (yeah, I was in to a lot of garbage).
The one folder with Bitcoin contains 15 wallet files, eacht with another date (I was apparently paranoid of losing something so I've backed them up ... probably there are actually two real different ones, but I don't know, want to check them all to be sure).
The LTC is empty for sure, found back mails about doing that, the rest is for later, I'll follow the procedure you've posted. thx.
Priority is getting the BTC sorted out now. The recync of blockchain data is half way now.

 
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May 23, 2020, 03:12:08 PM
 #18

Priority is getting the BTC sorted out now. The recync of blockchain data is half way now.
Take into account, that once you click the "open wallet" on core, it will take a while and might look like the app is frozen. It's just scanning the whole blockchain for transactions on that wallet, and it will most likely take a while, don't panic if that happens (I've seen it happen to a couple of guys).

If you have a moderately big ammount of coins, I'd suggest you buy a hardware wallet to store them, and once the BTCBTC is safe, you can proceed to claim (and dump, or store, that's up to you) the forked coins. IIRC, BCH, BSV and BTG are the ones that are currently worth the effort; you can check how to claim each one of them in LoyceV's guide (and service). But again, securing the BTC should be the top priority



Edit:

A couple of weeks ago, a user sent me a wallet.dat file from 2009 to check if I could open it with Core. It ended up being a bought wallet, but the "important" thing is that it did open without needing to use upgradewallet. Each case is different, but you could first try opening them from inside Core with the "open wallet" option inside the "file" directory. Make sure to use different names to know which one you are operating

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May 23, 2020, 03:25:54 PM
 #19

I have 2 hardware wallets, that's ok... I just didn't play around with bitcoin core for ages, wasn't sure how to do all that.
I'll make a small guide once this is all done (I hope to get at least some left overs out of there)

thank you
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May 24, 2020, 08:11:20 PM
 #20

Thanks to the help of some users here, I now go the dump files ... but they're all in Segwit.
The wallet was from before august 2017 so I don't know why this is not in Legacy format.
Is there a way to salvage these?
I have the passwords, the file, the export ... but still not found any of my old legacy adresses and the tx I need.

Any help would be appreciated.
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