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Author Topic: [SOLVED]: Bitcoins lost after transfer to address of new "wallet.dat"  (Read 5211 times)
Michael_S
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May 22, 2011, 11:01:02 AM
 #1

Hello, I am desperate - what should I do do get my bitcoins back???

I think I did not do anything wrong.

I wanted to move some part of my bitcoins to another wallet.dat that I intended to safe in encrypted format, such that not my complete savings (or respective private keys) are contained in an unencrypted wallet.dat file on my harddisk. From reading some texts in the web and from my common sense, I thought (and I still think) that it is very reasonable to do it exactly like this.

So I did the following (all on Ubuntu Linux with bitcoin client 0.3.19):
- close down my bitcoin client
- go to my "$home\.bitcoin" directory
- rename the "wallet.dat" to "x_wallet.dat"
- start the bitcoin client again
  --> I can see that a new ".bitcoin\wallet.dat" file was created
  --> I can see in the client's window one (new) address as "Your bitcoin address", which I will refer to as "xyz" in the sequel.
- I copy that new address "xyz" to my clipboard
- I close the bitcoin client again.
- I rename my new "wallet.dat" to "z_wallet.dat"
- I rename my old "x_wallet.dat" back to "wallet.dat"
- I start the bitcoin client again (now running on my old wallet.dat again)
- I transfer a certain amount of bitcoins (0.10 BTC in this case) from here (i.e. from my old wallet) to the new address "xyz".
- The payment appears in the bitcoin client, first as "0/unconfrimed", and then, as usual, after some time as "105/confirmed", with increasing number of confirmations as time goes by...
- I close the bitcoin client again
- I rename my old "wallet.dat" to "z_wallet.dat" again. [correction: ... to "x_wallet.dat"...]
- I rename my new "z_wallet.dat" to "wallet.dat" again.
- I start my bitcoin client again  (now running on my new wallet.dat again)

--> Now I WAS EXPECTING to see the new payment appearing in the bitcoion client window (because now it is running with the new wallet of the new address "xyz").
HOWEVER, I see NOTHING. The bitcoin client does not show any incoming payment whatsoever. The window of transactions is still empty, completely empty!!!

In my despair, I was looking at "http://blockexplorer.com/", typing in there my new address "xyz". I get this:

First seen?: Block 125635 (2011-05-22 [time is short after midnight...])
Received transactions: 1
Received BTC: 0.1
Sent transactions: 0
Sent BTC: 0
Hash160?: [...some long value is indicated here...]
Public key?:
Unknown (not seen yet)

--> So it seems the bitcoin network has seen this payment. So why does it not show up in my bitcoin client? what do I have to do to actually be able to get hold of my bitcoins??

Of course, my "loss" here is  only 0.1 BTCs, but I am not willing to accept this. In the end I want to transfer the majority of my bitcoin savings to a new wallet, so I must be sure that this mechanism works!

Is there a major flaw in the bitcoin protocol? Or does the client have a major bug? Or did I do anything wrong?

Please help me!

Thanks
Michael

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May 22, 2011, 11:07:52 AM
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- I rename my old "x_wallet.dat" back to "wallet.dat"
- I start the bitcoin client again (now running on my old wallet.dat again)
- I transfer a certain amount of bitcoins (0.10 BTC in this case) from here (i.e. from my old wallet) to the new address "xyz".
- The payment appears in the bitcoin client, first as "0/unconfrimed", and then, as usual, after some time as "105/confirmed", with increasing number of confirmations as time goes by...
- I close the bitcoin client again
- I rename my old "wallet.dat" to "z_wallet.dat" again.

I hope for your sake this is just a typo.
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May 22, 2011, 11:18:20 AM
 #3

Oh, very accurately read! Yes, of course typo, should be "x_wallet.dat" of course (otherwise I would have an unresolvable problem of course...)

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May 22, 2011, 12:13:51 PM
 #4

Quote
--> So it seems the bitcoin network has seen this payment. So why does it not show up in my bitcoin client? what do I have to do to actually be able to get hold of my bitcoins??

start bitcoin with the rescan parameter

e.g
bitcoin -rescan


I tried this - doesn't make any difference.

I also tried to start the latest version 0.3.21. Unfortunately, that one does not run at all on my PC (normal Linux Ubuntu 8.04, nothing special). Somehow it seems it wants to invoke the *wine* program starter - don't know why wine is needed if I want to execute bitcoin - very strange...

Any further hints welcome  :-(

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May 22, 2011, 12:24:52 PM
 #5

-rescan was only introduced in 0.3.20, and 0.3.21 does rescans automatically when needed (though you still need -rescan when upgrading from an older version)

Also, the fact that it wants to start wine seems to imply you downloaded the windows version.

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May 22, 2011, 12:28:11 PM
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Are all the blocks Downloaded ? Does the lower left hand side of the bitcoin window match the current block number on blockexplorer? 
According to your post it seems like everything went fine.
Michael_S
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May 22, 2011, 01:06:54 PM
 #7

-rescan was only introduced in 0.3.20, and 0.3.21 does rescans automatically when needed (though you still need -rescan when upgrading from an older version)
Oh, I see.
Also, the fact that it wants to start wine seems to imply you downloaded the windows version.
No, definitely not! I downloaded "bitcoin-0.3.21-linux.tar.gz" (sha1sum yields 54254cba039b02a2f49fdc98b8fe820d0fd4e410), unpacked it and started "bitcoin-0.3.21-linux/bitcoin-0.3.21/bin/32/bitcoin". Then a minimized program window appears saying something like "wine program starter" or so, and after 30 seconds or so it disappears again without anything further happening, and the bitcoin client does not show up!

When I do the same with "bitcoin-0.3.20.2-linux.tar.gz", it starts up normally.

Am I the only one to experience this strange behaviour???

Michael_S
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May 22, 2011, 01:13:52 PM
 #8

Are all the blocks Downloaded ? Does the lower left hand side of the bitcoin window match the current block number on blockexplorer? 
According to your post it seems like everything went fine.
Just now I started the version 0.3.20.2 of the bitcoin client (from "bitcoin-0.3.20.2-linux.tar.gz") completely "from scratch", i.e. with a "\.bitcoin\" directory that contains nothing but my (new!) "wallet.dat" file [no blkindex.dat files or so...]. So right now it is downloading the blocks (now arrived at 93115 in the lower RIGHT hand side of the bitcoin client window, whereas the total number is 125772 acc. to blockexplorer). Hope that this will bring me my 0.10 BTCs back...

Michael

PS: Just still confused about why version 0.3.21 does not work and requires wine (it is NOT the windows version)...

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May 22, 2011, 01:25:19 PM
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Are all the blocks Downloaded ? Does the lower left hand side of the bitcoin window match the current block number on blockexplorer? 
According to your post it seems like everything went fine.
Just now I started the version 0.3.20.2 of the bitcoin client (from "bitcoin-0.3.20.2-linux.tar.gz") completely "from scratch", i.e. with a "\.bitcoin\" directory that contains nothing but my (new!) "wallet.dat" file [no blkindex.dat files or so...]. So right now it is downloading the blocks (now arrived at 93115 in the lower RIGHT hand side of the bitcoin client window, whereas the total number is 125772 acc. to blockexplorer). Hope that this will bring me my 0.10 BTCs back...

Michael

PS: Just still confused about why version 0.3.21 does not work and requires wine (it is NOT the windows version)...

If all is well, the client will confirm all the past blocks and show your payment in place once it gets past the block your payment was in. GL
Michael_S
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May 22, 2011, 02:23:44 PM
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Are all the blocks Downloaded ? Does the lower left hand side of the bitcoin window match the current block number on blockexplorer? 
According to your post it seems like everything went fine.
Just now I started the version 0.3.20.2 of the bitcoin client (from "bitcoin-0.3.20.2-linux.tar.gz") completely "from scratch", i.e. with a "\.bitcoin\" directory that contains nothing but my (new!) "wallet.dat" file [no blkindex.dat files or so...]. So right now it is downloading the blocks (now arrived at 93115 in the lower RIGHT hand side of the bitcoin client window, whereas the total number is 125772 acc. to blockexplorer). Hope that this will bring me my 0.10 BTCs back...

Michael

PS: Just still confused about why version 0.3.21 does not work and requires wine (it is NOT the windows version)...

If all is well, the client will confirm all the past blocks and show your payment in place once it gets past the block your payment was in. GL

Yes, the client has just got past the block my payment was in, and now the payment of 0.10 BTCs appears! Puuh - relieved :-)

Problem solved.

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May 26, 2011, 03:46:19 AM
 #11

I empathize with this user's panic. I too find the client's behavior unpredictable after swapping wallets. Why should the 100MB blkindex.dat need to be removed and the 200MB blk0001.dat repopulated from the network?

It is not clear to me what is generic shared public data (block chain) and what data is specifically related to the wallet.

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May 27, 2011, 02:58:25 PM
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This type of thing is exactly why I just made a whole new datadir on my Windows client and even redownloaded the blockchain in to that when I made my savings wallet.

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May 28, 2011, 05:16:09 AM
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I empathize with this user's panic. I too find the client's behavior unpredictable after swapping wallets. Why should the 100MB blkindex.dat need to be removed and the 200MB blk0001.dat repopulated from the network?

It is not clear to me what is generic shared public data (block chain) and what data is specifically related to the wallet.

The only thing in your wallet is keys to spend bitcoins. The actual bitcoins and all the transactions involving them are in the chain.

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June 22, 2011, 08:08:03 PM
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The only thing in your wallet is keys to spend bitcoins. The actual bitcoins and all the transactions involving them are in the chain.

So just to clarify. You don't really need to back up your wallet all that frequently (every 100 addresses?) as even if you have "old" backups of wallets, they will update with any new transactions sent to them or from them when you plop them back in.

(ie; you could technically restore from a 30 day old backup of your wallet that is from before you spent and received a bunch of money and it will still download the new transactions and update itself)
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June 24, 2011, 08:55:03 PM
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The only thing in your wallet is keys to spend bitcoins. The actual bitcoins and all the transactions involving them are in the chain.

So just to clarify. You don't really need to back up your wallet all that frequently (every 100 addresses?) as even if you have "old" backups of wallets, they will update with any new transactions sent to them or from them when you plop them back in.
No, they won't. If they don't have the new keys, they won't be able to accept the new transactions. (Until/unless we get deterministic wallets.)

Quote
(ie; you could technically restore from a 30 day old backup of your wallet that is from before you spent and received a bunch of money and it will still download the new transactions and update itself)
Yes, but it won't be able to acquire the 'change' from any transactions using keys that were generated after the backup of your wallet.

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lemonginger
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June 24, 2011, 10:00:11 PM
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The only thing in your wallet is keys to spend bitcoins. The actual bitcoins and all the transactions involving them are in the chain.

So just to clarify. You don't really need to back up your wallet all that frequently (every 100 addresses?) as even if you have "old" backups of wallets, they will update with any new transactions sent to them or from them when you plop them back in.
No, they won't. If they don't have the new keys, they won't be able to accept the new transactions. (Until/unless we get deterministic wallets.)

Quote
(ie; you could technically restore from a 30 day old backup of your wallet that is from before you spent and received a bunch of money and it will still download the new transactions and update itself)
Yes, but it won't be able to acquire the 'change' from any transactions using keys that were generated after the backup of your wallet.


But I thought that there were 100 keys at any given time? So as long as you are backing up every 99 transactions or so, you should be good to go, right?

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June 27, 2011, 07:47:44 AM
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The only thing in your wallet is keys to spend bitcoins. The actual bitcoins and all the transactions involving them are in the chain.

So just to clarify. You don't really need to back up your wallet all that frequently (every 100 addresses?) as even if you have "old" backups of wallets, they will update with any new transactions sent to them or from them when you plop them back in.
No, they won't. If they don't have the new keys, they won't be able to accept the new transactions. (Until/unless we get deterministic wallets.)

Quote
(ie; you could technically restore from a 30 day old backup of your wallet that is from before you spent and received a bunch of money and it will still download the new transactions and update itself)
Yes, but it won't be able to acquire the 'change' from any transactions using keys that were generated after the backup of your wallet.


But I thought that there were 100 keys at any given time? So as long as you are backing up every 99 transactions or so, you should be good to go, right?



Thats what I thought too. But the question remains: Are you willing to risk all your savings on that?
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June 27, 2011, 08:53:03 PM
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no that's why I have multiple savings wallets. But I'm certainly willing to risk whatever I keep in my daily use wallet by not having to backup everytime I make a few transactions.
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