How does the Bitcoin client encrypt the wallet.dat file?
How does the Bitcoin client encrypt the wallet.dat file?
bitcoin core - opening an old wallet.dat - Bitcoin Stack ...
How to convert encrypted wallet.dat to decrypted? (Yes, I ...
How to Encrypt Your Bitcoin Wallet - dummies
Wallet.dat corrupted after bitcoin encryption · Issue #881 ...
350 bitcoins, encrypted wallet.dat deleted - lost forever?
I know I am insanely stupid. There is no need to be upset and yell that at me through the screen. I am happy to not be a gun owner because tonight I would have killed myself. I am posting this because countless others have posted similar stories whereby they learned important lessons the hard way due to lack of technical knowledge. In my case, the reason for this lack of knowledge was likely, ironically, the same reason I bought some bitcoins: drugs. I won't get into that. What I will post is where I went wrong, and where I'm at now. Here's the full story: I had a securely encrypted wallet.dat with about 400 bitcoins on it that were purchased back at $10 or so. I pulled said wallet out of cold storage recently to cash money out of this wallet a few times to get some gift cards from gyft.com. I missed something ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL in my understanding of encrypted wallets. When you send money, your wallet.dat file changes. You ABSOLUTELY MUST make new backups before deleting this file. Please don't do what I did and simply disregard this file after making changes on the blockchain...and then, on the same PC (sigh) proceed to reinstall StarCraft II when it fails to run due to Virtu MVP being retarded, ruining any shot at recovery (NONO #2: NEVER run bitcoin on your primary machine FOR ANY REASON). I was a fool. Now I'm staring at TestDisk and File Manager in Parted Magic (linux boot disc) in total, absolute disbelief. Unless my data is stored within ".sst" files (never worked with these before and I can't figure out what they are with google, though it looks like fucking chrome shit because I leave it open all the time), which it may be, I don't know what to do. Maybe I'll try GetDataBack NTFS next. Maybe I can actually read filenames proper more effectively there? Does anyone have experience with this? I have turned off the main PC and booted it up into parted magic so there is no data being written to the drive anymore. If there is ANY shot at this wallet.dat being recovered I am not screwing myself over any more now. If anyone helps me out with this, I will compensate you generously. I am scared and lost. I never deserved bitcoin to begin with. If I can't get them back...well...enjoy the value appreciation, I guess, everyone. =( Such shame I have never felt; such guilt I may never feel again. I have tried my old wallet.dat files repeatedly before coming to the realization that encrypted wallets change with each and every transaction...and the one backup I thought I made (moved, not copied) says it is corrupt. It's easy to pretend what this feels like, but it's much worse in person. Educate yourselves and split up your wallets - now. Don't let this happen to you. If anyone is a kind soul and willing to help, feel free to PM me. EDIT: I just recovered everything with an old wallet.dat. Tonight I went full tard. Luckily, this was a throwaway. I will never forget this...all of you came together to help, to suggest, to fucking CARE. I WILL NOW TAKE TOMORROW OFF (sick day since I still feel sick as hell) TO FIX MY OTHER ISSUES WITH THE WALLET (aka putting all my eggs in one basket, keeping on a machine that is not specifically fucking made only for bitcoin, not using electrum/armory, not having my primary storage machine OFFLINE, etc.) All of you - ALL of you - are less selfish and less stupid than me. You should all feel amazing.
(1) Is it true that encrypting an *existing* bitcoin-qt wallet.dat file will "invalidate" any existing backups? (2) Can I use unicode characters - eg ♥ - in the bitcoin-qt wallet passphrase?
I have an existing bitcoin-qt wallet.dat file which I want to encrypt - using the command in the bitcoin-qt Settings menu, involving creating a passphrase. I have 2 (possibly somewhat related) questions: TL;DR (1) If you encrypt an existing wallet.dat file, will the backups of the old wallet.dat file still work? (2) Can you include unicode characters - eg ♥ - in the passphrase used to encrypt a bitcoin-qt wallet.dat file? Worst-case scenario: The answers to (1) and (2) are both "no" - and I attempt to encrypt an existing wallet using unicode, and my backups no longer work (due to a new pool of addresses somehow being created?) and the passphrase isn't what I think it is (due to the unicode characters somehow being misinterpreted?) - and then I could lose all my coins?? Details (1) The following (old, short) thread claims that after you encrypt an existing wallet, any previous backups of that wallet will no longer work: https://pay.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1ccfdk/encrypting_walletdat_in_bitcoinqt/ Obviously, the the first response in that thread was slightly wrong, for saying that the "server" creates a new pool of 100 addresses to draw on. So using word "server" here was certainly incorrect - but maybe the gist of what they were saying might still be correct? (if you simply change "server" to "client"). I can actually understand that there might be reasons why encrypting a wallet.dat file could cause a new pool of 100 addresses to be generated. But it does not make sense to me that this would make any older (unencrypted) backups instantly useless. It seems to me that these older, unencrypted backups would still have their private keys intact, and could thus be used in certain (perhaps limited?) ways - such as:
"sweeping" the funds from the private keys of the old, unencrypted wallet into another wallet, or
doing a normal "spend" from the private keys of the old, unencrypted wallet (However, if the old unencrypted and the new encrypted wallets now contain different pools of addresses, then I imagine that this spend would invalidate the new, encrypted wallet - because any change from the spend would be sent to a "change address" from among those in the old, unencrypted wallet - and so this amount of change would be missing from the new encrypted wallet, right?).
(2) It seems that including a few unicode characters in the bitcoin-qt wallet passphrase would make it a lot stronger (since unicode is a much larger set of characters than ascii), so I would like to include a few. But it would be more reassuring if it could be explicitly stated that this is indeed supported. Possible catastrophic interaction between (1) and (2)? If the answers to (1) and (2) were both "no" (ie, if you encrypt an existing bitcoin-qt wallet.dat file then any existing backups will not work, and unicode characters do not work in bitcoin-qt passphrases), then I'm worried there could be some kind of catastrophic interaction between (1) and (2) where I lose all my coins, as follows: (1) I encrypt my existing wallet - making my old, unencrypted wallet.dat file now invalidated (due to something involving a new pool of addresses being generated?) and (2) I use a passphrase which includes unicode characters which bitcoin-qt appears to accept at the time of creation, but which doesn't work at the time of trying to decrypt the wallet.dat file (due to something going wring with how the supposed unicode characters are actually interpreted while being entered or copied-and-pasted?). In this possible worst-case scenario, my old backups of wallet.dat no longer work, and my newly encrypted wallet.dat has some password which I'm not able to correctly enter anymore. Sorry to be so paranoid about this! Other remarks: (a) I did do a (limited) test of unicode capability for bitcoin-qt wallet.dat passphrases: simply by creating a new (empty) wallet.dat file, and creating a passphrase for it involving unicode characters, and then attempting to change the passphrase (which requires entering the old passphrase that contained unicode characters). This did seem to work ok: it let me re-enter the old passphrase (which included unicode characters) to create a new passphrase. However, since this is an empty wallet (and since bitcoin-qt would ask for the passphrase only when attempting to actually spend from an encrypted wallet), I did not see a way to fully test whether the passphrase actually worked to decrypt a unicode-passphrase-encrypted wallet for the purpose of spending from it. (I'm still downloading the rest of the blockchain and it's going to take at least another week on my slow connection, so don't see how I could send a small amount to the new wallet to test it either. My existing wallet.dat file was originally created on an internet-connected machine a long time ago, but it's been offline ever since, so in some sense it's kinda-sorta been in somewhat "cold" storage all this time, and I would prefer to avoid putting it online on a "hot" internet-connected machine until absolutely necessary.) (b) Long-term, I am actually also in the process of setting up a proper cold storage system based on Armory, which I have installed on 2 Ubuntu machines (one offline and one online). But I have a slow internet connection, and the backups of this old wallet.dat file have been sitting around unencrypted for ages (I've been relying simply on then being physically inaccessible). Now some "things" are coming up over the next few days where I some better security right away, and it's probably going to take over a week for Armory/bitcoind to update my local copy of the blockchain. So in the meantime, I also need some basic additional security right now - so encrypting the existing bitcoin-qt wallet.dat file using a strong passphrase (and making some new backups) seems like it could be a reasonable initial approach. Thanks for any help!
PSA: Added Step May Be Needed When Restoring a Backup Encrypted wallet.dat to Bitcoin Core
TL;DR: To successfully restore an encrypted wallet.dat file, the instance of Bitcoin Core getting restored to needs to first have Encryption turned on and possibly the same Passphrase set as the wallet.dat file you are restoring. It seems this must be done before you restore your encrypted wallet.dat from backup, or Bitcoin Core will just show a zero balance. For the record, the set-up for this situation was as follows: Bitcoin Core (formerly Bitcoin-Qt) 0.9.2.1, Windows x86 version, on Windows XP Pro patched for 2019 PoS updates. Recently, my Bitcoin Core hot wallet had been acting up and crashing after about 6 to 12 hours of uptime. I thought that there was possibly some corruption in Core's database files, so I backed up my wallet.dat and started deleting block chain data/index files to see if a rescan or reindex would correct the problem. I tried to save time by not deleting everything, only certain file types. I managed to somehow screw up and got the dreaded "wallet.dat corrupt, salvage failed" message. Since I had a backup, I didn't bother trying the "-salvagewallet" command-line option (which might have actually corrected my problem.) Instead, I went straight for a restore from backup. Some time ago, and on a much older version of Bitcoin-Qt I had familiarized myself with the wallet.dat backup and restore process. I never had a problem with it. But thinking back, I may have done all of my testing with unencrypted wallet.dat files. In this case, I uninstalled Core, deleted everything in the Bitcoin data directory, reinstalled Core, used bootstrap.dat to catch up as much of the block chain as possible, and let the new install finish syncing from the Internet. Once Core was up-to-date, I closed it and restored my encrypted wallet.dat from backup. In my previous experience, I'd be done at this point. The next time I started the wallet, it would have automatically rescanned, and I'd be back in business. This time, when the wallet finally started up again, it showed no errors, the block chain was still fully synced up, but the wallet showed a zero balance. Not a good feeling. I thought maybe I'd need to manually start Core using the "-rescan" command-line option. I tried this, but got the same result. After mulling things over, I finally guessed that the problem might have something to do with Core's wallet.dat encryption. I again deleted the wallet.dat file from the Bitcoin data directory and restarted Core. Once it finished generating a new wallet.dat file, I enabled Encryption and set the same Passphrase as the wallet.dat file I was trying to restore. Core shut itself down to complete encrypting the new wallet.dat file. Next, I started Core once again to make sure all was OK with new encrypted but empty wallet.dat. I then closed Core and replaced the zero-balance wallet.dat file with my recent backup. That finally did the trick. On the next start, Core automatically did a rescan and my balance reappeared. I don't know for sure if this behavior is the same across all the different flavors of Bitcoin Core 0.9.2.1 (x64, OSX, Linux), but I suspect it might be. Also, it might work just to enable Encryption, but it might not be necessary to have the same Passphrase. I can only confirm that it worked in my case with the same Passphrase. This little adventure was unnerving, particularly since Core issues no errors and just insists there's a zero balance. I thought I should relate what I learned in case someone else encounters the same situation. Cheers, and to the moon! EDIT: At least a couple posts so far report not seeing the same behavior I did. I'm glad if it's a non-issue, and I can't explain why it happened to me. I can just suggest if you have similar issues, it might be worth it to give this method a try.
What if instead of instead of actually entrusting your bitcoins to someone else, you just gave them an encrypted wallet.dat?
In the wake of whatever the hell has happened with mybitcoin.com, here's an idea for a more secure way to store your bitcoins "in the cloud". Instead of a service having a bitcoin deposit address for each account holder, they merely act as a fileserver. You could use any cloud storage, e.g. dropbox. The file they have is just a wallet.dat, but encrypted, and only you have the key (not stored online). So if the service is hacked or "goes rougue", a) you still have a local backup of the wallet and access to the funds and b) the attacker still can't access any of your funds, certainly not before you could transfer them to a new wallet.
I have created new wallet.dat by renaming old wallet.dat to wallet-old.dat. with new wallet the bitcoin tool opens fine, even I can encrypt the new wallet works fine aswell. I just don't know what happened to my original wallet.dat. I'm new to bitcoin topic and I don't understand why the bitcoin folder is 1.3 GB. Often requested feature: encrypt private keys in the wallet.dat file, so a password is required for a send transaction. I had about $8 USD worth of bitcoin in a wallet, and I backed up the wallet.dat to my dropbox. According to the modified date of the file this was in April 2013, so it was probaby from bitcoin qt version 0.8.1, or maybe a little earlier. I basically left it there and haven't done anything with bitcoin since then. Since it is worth probably at ... Therefore, you should properly encrypt your bitcoin wallet. The latest Bitcoin Core client contains a feature that encrypts your wallet with a passphrase. Or if you prefer, you can use an external tool to encrypt your wallet.dat file, most of which are completely free of charge to use. Keep in mind that you need to enter the passphrase every time you want to access your funds or look at a ... the other answers suggest closing your node copying directories etc, NOT necessary. Here is how i did it starting with an old wallet2.dat file:. create a folder foo (any name, any directory); copy the file wallet2.dat into folder foo and rename the wallet to wallet.dat; on the GUI click Window->Console and type into the > field: help loadwallet which will tell you bunch of stuff (you can read ...
How to Encrypt Your Bitcoin Diamond Core Wallet Protect ...
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