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Wallet.dat recovery and troubleshooting

BACKUP YOUR WALLET.DAT FILE NOW SO YOU HAVE ANOTHER COPY IN CASE SOMETHING GOES WRONG

I hear more and more stories of people who bought bitcoin or cryptocurrency back 3-4 years ago and have a wallet.dat file but they have run into a variety of issues when trying to load the wallet and access their crypto currency. Here are a number of troubleshooting methods to help resolve anyone with wallet.dat issues.

wallet.dat file size too large?

Client seems to get stuck when loading as the wallet.dat file is 1 GB or larger?

SOLUTION

If you want a new 'clean' wallet.dat file, you can use this approach.

  • 1. Back up the current %appdata% bitcoin folder
  • 2. Create a new empty bitcoin folder and put your wallet.dat inside
  • 3. Go offline (or even better use an dedicated offline computer for this)
  • 4. Start the qt wallet - it will start faster because it cannot validate your wallet dat
  • 5. Use 'dumpwallet' to export your entire wallet with all private keys (caution: they will be saved unencrypted in a file)
  • 6. Remove the current wallet.dat file from the folder
  • 7. Restart the wallet (a new wallet.dat will be created)
  • 8. Use 'importwallet' to import all the private keys from the file
  • 9. Cleanup. Overwrite the dumped file and remove it

What currency is my wallet.dat for?

Is this my Bitcoin wallet? my Litecoin, Devcoin, Peercoin etc wallet? how can I easily tell?

SOLUTION

Simply open your wallet.dat file, with any text editor of choice (e.g.notepad++) use ctrl + F to search for “name”. If your wallet.dat file had any addresses, you will find them there.

Now you just have to look at the format and you'll know. (If they begin with 1, it's BTC, if they begin with L, it's LTC…). Most have very recognizable formats. In the case of doubt, just enter the address in a blockexplorer and you will be told if it is a valid address.


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