How to Create a Secure Bitcoin Wallet

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This is a guide to making a completely secure Bitcoin Wallet wallet you keep on a thumb drive. The reason it is so secure is that we will be using Ubuntu to create a boot-able operating system to avoid any malware, spyware, or viruses. We are doing it this way because there are programs out there that try to steal your Bitcoin Wallet. There are online wallets that you can use but I highly suggest you only use those for day to day transactions and you keep a separate wallet for your savings account.

Before we get started you will need 1 or 2 Thumb Drives (will go into detail on why you may need 2 later). They don’t have to be big. I bought my 2 Gb drives for 5 dollars each. Once you have that, we can get started.

The Operating system for your Secure Bitcoin Wallet will be Ubuntu. Don’t be scared if you’ve only used Windows your whole life. I will be walking you through this step-by-step.

Go to the Ubuntu Download Page and click the download option on the right of the screen. Make sure you save it to a place you will remember because we will be needing it later. You can also download this from a torrent site if you know how. If you are unfamiliar with torrents just download it from the link above.

Now we need to make a boot-able thumb drive. Lucky for us, there is easy to use software that does this for us. Go to the USB Installer Page and download the usb installer program. This program will make is so you can boot from a usb drive. Once it’s downloaded, run the program and extract it to a folder you will remember. I would suggest using your download folder and then creating a new folder called “USBinstaller” so you remember where it is. Once it’s unzipped, go to that folder and run the software.

Select Ubuntu for step 1. It should be the top option on the drop down menu. Then you click the browse button and you select the Ubuntu download from earlier (remember when I told you to remember where you saved it to?). Then select your usb thumb drive. If you plug it in and it doesn’t show up, leave it plugged in and restart the program and it should be there. Then all you have to do is click create and let it run. It shouldn’t take too long but it will be a minute or two. Here is what mine looked like.

**Before you continue make sure that you remember our address so you can come back and finish the tutorial.  **

***Read the following couple paragraphs before booting from Ubuntu ***

Now that we have a Boot-able version of Ubuntu, we need use it. Keep the thumb drive plugged in and restart your computer. If it doesn’t automatically start Ubuntu, you may have to hit the Esc or Del key as your computer is booting up. The next part is very important. ** Do not install Ubuntu. Select “Run Ubuntu from USB Drive” from the screen that pops up. The security of this method comes from making sure you have a fresh Operating System every time you want to access your wallet so you aren’t keeping any information that might be malicious.

Once Ubuntu is running, go ahead and connect to the internet. If you use a hardwired Ethernet connection (actually have a cable running into your computer from your modem or router) this should be done for you already. If not click the wireless button on the top right of the screen, select your router and enter in your password.

Now we need to download the Bitcoin client and start a new wallet. Go to the official Bitcoin Homepage and remember that you are using Linux now. So don’t download the Windows edition. I always unzip the file to my downloads folder but it doesn’t matter, just remember where you extract it to. Once extracted go to your download folder and open Bin>32> and then open the Bitcoin icon. This will open the Bitcoin App. Now close it. The only reason that we opened it was to create a wallet.dat file.

The next step is to make is so we can see the hidden files on the computer. Open your file explorer (looks like a house on a folder at the top of the menu to the left), move your mouse to the top left of the monitor. You should see a familiar menu now including file, edit and more. Click edit and then preferences. See Below –

At the top of the window that just popped up an option to view hidden files. Select OK and the window should close. Now in file explorer click Ubuntu on the top left of the window and  you should be able to see a folder named “.bitcoin”.

Go ahead and open that and there is your wallet.dat file. Right click it and copy it.

Now while still in your file explorer you can select your other USB drive from the left side of that window. Right click and paste your wallet.dat file onto your USB drive. Now you have a secure wallet that is safe from malware and viruses.

When you want to access your wallet you will boot Ubuntu and install Bitcoin like you did before, but this you will want to copy the wallet.dat file from the usb drive and paste it into the .bitcoin folder and you are good to go.

Make sure that you do not overwrite your wallet.dat file and I would recommend making more then 1 thumb drive just in case something happens to your main. Some people recommend encrypting your thumb drive but I would recommend hiding it in a safe place… like a safe. If you have enough Bitcoins where you would suffer a serious loss, I would go with a safety deposit box.

If you have found this tutorial helpful – Donate to 1G1ehppEgjiFTUSHFz2xs9KLSQuWLPYF2o and if I get enough, I’ll move it to my secure wallet.


  1. I have been following the above instructions but can not execute opening the Bitcoin icon in Bin 32 folder or any thing past that point. Thebin 32 folder seems to be read only andno applicaation seems to be available to open the bitcoin icon. I also don’t see the file explorer or bring up the Ubuntu containing the bitcoin folder mentioned next; only the ubuntu desktop.I am using Win 8 and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

  2. Ok so after reading through this a few times I understand why to open in a secure environment and how to etc.
    My question is, if I send bitcoins from my day to day wallet to my savings wallet, do I need to do anything else after? Once I send the coins its associated to my savings wallet and I only ever need to go through the process of opening Ubuntu and downloading the blockchain when I want to access my wallet?

  3. My Ubuntu won’t start, did everything like explained above, but when booting from the stick I get:
    Syslinux 4.07 edd 2013-07-25 copyright and so on.
    Below that is a flashing cursor, but i cant type anything, no pop up screen appearing.
    Any idea whats wrong?

  4. I have downloaded the bitcoin qt program and am currently downloading the blockchain. I have a fast internet connection, but after 1 day of downloading I am still only at 1/3.

    From what I understand I need the blockchain to transfer bitcoins from a wallet. Do I need this whole blockchain on the same secure USB as where my wallet is? If so, this USB has to be huge, right? Especially if I am planning to save this savings account wallet for later.

  5. Hi, I have followed your instructions for a boot able usb, changed my priority in bios to removable F which is my usb and yet my computer is still booting through windows 8. Could it be due to being Win 8? what do you suggest?

  6. I have problems with the following part:

    Now we need to download the Bitcoin client and start a new wallet. Go to the official Bitcoin Homepage and remember that you are using Linux now. Once extracted go to your download folder and open Bin>32> and then open the Bitcoin icon.

    After the extraction the Bitcoin icon isn’t there, because the program isn’t recognized within ubuntu.

    Downloaded the Linux version. Installed the x86 version of ubuntu. Tried also the x64 version, same result.

    Any suggestions?


  7. So I already downloaded the Windows version of Bitcoin Wallet installed it and from the DVDs you sent I downloaded and ran the thing to get all the blocks up to date… How do I make a backup of THAT wallet.. and NOT create this thumbnail boot version that seems to require I download Bitcoin Wallet all over again onto the Ubuntu formatted thumbdrive.

    • Hi Marc,

      If you are trying to make that wallet into a savings wallet, I would not advise it. If you had that wallet open on a Windows machine that you use regularly, it is not secure enough to be considered a secure wallet. I would recommend that you create a new wallet as I advised, and send the contents of your wallet to that address.

      If you just want to make a backup of that wallet, you can find it at C:Users(Your User Name)AppDataRoamingBitcoin and it is called wallet.dat. You may have to change your settings in windows explorer to be able to view hidden filed to find it.

  8. Hi, so at the install bitcoin stage, which bitcoin am I supposed to install? (like the PPA official bitcoin or what) Please link to it :D

  9. Thank you for this article, very useful. one question I had is, how safe would it be to copy the blockchain from a sync’d version of Bitcoin from the host machines local Windows HDD. So boot into Ubuntu via USB (clean) and install Bitcoin, then copy the blockchain from c: where windows is installed and has a sync’d version of Bitcoin.

    Is this even possible if it is, is it safe?

    Thank you.

    • It is possible, but you may want to consider having a wallet that is only used for saving that is only ever opened on a clean linux boot. You are much less likely to have anything stolen with malware that way.

  10. After extracting the bitcoin client and looking in the map bin, 32. I cant open the bitcoin client.

    The readme file says that “You need the Qt4 run-time libraries to run Bitcoin-Qt. On Debian or Ubuntu”.

    But there is no such program. Where can I download this? Or is there an other option?


  11. knotimportant on

    Considering it is not unheard of that new computers ship with factory installed viruses, could that affect the certainty of this Ubuntu / thumbdrive method (and do you think brand new thumbdrives as well as computers might be suspect nowadays) ? Thanks for the great article.

  12. Thank you for all the guides.

    How secure do you think Armory stands?
    I’m thinking about creating a armory wallet on a windows virtual machine (offline) because linux is really hard for me, and that would avoid the hassle of getting the fresh linux and download the block chaing over and over.

  13. So I have a question, it seems the blockchain is sometimes too big to download or use when booting from a Ubunto USB drive. I used an 8 GB flashdrive and installed the Bitcoin-qt client. Half-way during the download of the blockchain is says it is out of storage space… So i’m unable to download the blockchain and do transactions. I’m now trying with a 16 GB stick, see what happens. The pc I use does not have a harddrive in it so I’m running a fresh copy every time. The procedure of backing up to a different USB stick seems to work fine.

  14. Hi,

    What do you think about a virtual computer like VmWare, instead of running everything on Ubuntu, just to get access to your wallet?

  15. Hi,
    I have attempted to follow your instructions very unsuccessfully. I have attempted to download 2 of the three bitcoin clients and neither of them will work with Ubuntu.

    The first problem I am having is after I download the Bitcoin client for Linux, I am unable to extract the files. I get an error message. Are you able to advise me as to what I am doing wrong?

  16. It has to be said that the Bitcoin wallet security issue is a real deal killer for widespread adoption.

    There are many websites with just as many methods that provide details on how to secure your wallet, and it’s very complicated and in some cases can cause one to destroy their Bitcoin if they don’t do things in the right order.

    We need a Bitcoin app that is user friendly and very secure. The Bitcoin wallet is the Achille’s heel of Bitcoin. If not resolved, Bitcoin will whither away.

  17. So when you download bitcoins to your live Ubuntu usb drive, bitcoin folder and your about to then back those coins up to another usb drive and you accidentally knock the usb drive out or you have a power failure or any number of other things like crashes etc, you lose all your coins no?

    What I understand is the reason for the live usb is to minimize viruses and malware but downloading coins to a wallet that’s being run from a bootable usb where if the system crashes or fails would cause you to lose everything because on a live usb the only place information is written is in ram and so when you reboot all that information is gone along with your coins.

    Isn’t this tutorial a little risky?

  18. A question.
    I do apologise in advance, but as I am just starting with the subject I may have a dim understanding of many issues here.

    Isn’t it safer to actually have a paper saving wallet and store the money on there? And if you want to send them to someone then to ‘sync’ ( if that’s what you do) it with Bitcoin-Qt?

  19. I think this tutorial is going to cause a lot of people to end up losing their coins.

    More explanation is need on how coins are transferred to the “clean” wallet.

  20. Hi

    Great tutorial

    Must be compulsory reading for windows users

    I have a win xp machine which I am forced to use on net

    So I decided to use your Linux clean boot method

    I have three questions here

    1. How to connect to net while on Linux
    Actually I used Linux live USB to create a bootable USB. This worked fine. i choose dam small Linux version 4.x and created a bootable disk, not unbuntu but as you know a knoppix variant

    I could make a clean boot from the USB , i am ale to see other things on the linux like explorer etc, but I am unable to connect to the net while within Linux

    What am I doing wrong ? I’m hoping you know about DSL ..damm small Linux and can help me

    Question 2. Existing bit coin client on windows
    I have already run a bit coin client while on windows . This is before I did anything about Linux …i havent done any transactions or anything with that

    i havent given out that address anywhere

    should I un install that ? Or ?

    Question 3
    I know a little bit about Ppg ..I’ve used it to test send e mail etc. I unrstand key pairs etc.

    could you please explain to such a user , what is a bitcoin wallet ? What is the function of the private key ? Etc a little more than on lay man terms

    Thanks and regards

  21. Hi tehre>this is one great guide but I have some question.I run windows xp now and i don’t know if running ubuntu will affect the data i have on my HDD?

  22. hi there,

    have followed all your instructions. in ubuntu, while d/ling the blockchain i get to 60,000 blocks left. it then says i have run out of memory. i assume it is downloading into my ubuntu partition on my PC as when checking i have a 1.6gb memory (and have used 1.5gb memory with blockchain)

    my question: how can i expand this partition to complete the download? or is it easier to direct the download to my 32gb USB that contains the ubuntu program? if so, how do it do that???

    sorry, total newb. really happy i got this far, just the last hurdle now.

    thanks for a cracking site. defo donation when i finally get a wallet sorted

  23. I created a bitcoin address with and transfered my BTC’s from Bitcoin-24 to it. Now, how can use these BTC’s again?

  24. hi there,

    i left a message earlier in the week. just to say i am not mining for bitcoins, i just wanted to invest into it

    hope to hear from you soon


  25. hi there,

    firstly, great site, really been helpful. secondly, i am a bit of a newbie to all of this.

    can i ask… would it work having just a raspberry pi set up with ubunto that was just used solely for the exchange and backing up my wallet? so i only go to, say mt.gox, and no other sites on this set up?

    would it be safe enough to just leave ubunto on the R-PI system without having to reinstall it every time to the Pi from a flash drive?

    last question… (sorry!), the blockchain… would it be possible to store this also on the raspberry pi, along with my wallet and ubunto? or should i keep the blockchain on a seperate hard drive and the wallet on a passworded flash drive. The Pi will always be used solely for mt.gox, no wandering.

    as i am in the UK i dont think I can get a copy of your blockchain DVD

    thanks bro!

  26. In the beginners guide to mining you wrote that we need to create a bitcoin wallet that’s why we need to download bitcoin client and so I did, but it took very long time to sync with the internet. In the article how to create save wallet you need to download ubuntu (that’s okay), but do i have to download BITCOIN and wait it to sync again? And also you wrote that you need to boot ubuntu and download BITCOIN again? and wait for synchronisation again?
    And one last thing is wallet or save wallet place to store your coins no matter how you got them, beaceuse i am not going to mine bitcoins, i was thinking of buying them through tradehill or mt.gox.

    • You can copy the blockchain.dat files from your Bitcoin folder on your hard drive over to your new install. It is a time consuming process. We also are selling the blockchain on DVD to make it easier.

      • So, if you have a large enough thumb-drive, could you/should you copy over the blockchain.dat as well? When you reload it onto your clean boot, it would just catch up? Shortening your total start time? Thanks.

      • That’s a very secure method, but taking into account that synchronization of bitcoin client takes 2 days, I suppose it would be very time consuming to update a wallet each time.

  27. You say that you need to copy wallet.dat file onto USB file. However do you mean cut and paste. i.e. is it not safe to leave a copy on your machine?


  28. I am a noob and want to start mining and earning, great article, but I just want to see if i understand everything. When you install bitcoin , after it downloads the blocks and is up to date, you have an adress, like a account number. when you want to receive money you enter that number. after you boot up again, reinstall the bitcoin, ovewrite the new wallet with the saved one, than wait for the block synck so all the bitcoins your received will get syncked to the old secure file, after this, you copy this old syncked wallet over the one on your thumb so you overite the syncked one over the same one you have on you thumb but has not been syncked. and you do this everytime you receive btc. is this correct. one more question, your only acces to your account is through this wallet .dat file ? without it can you see the money you have but cannot touch it?
    thanks for taking the time with noobs like myself

  29. Hi!
    Thanks for the great tutorial, I have 1 question though – What Unbuntu should I download:
    Ubuntu 12.10
    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS


  30. This has a major security flaw. If you connect to the internet you have a vulnerability for viruses. You should download bitcoin and put it on another usb drive.

  31. Head slightly spinning… super noob… though I have an account at mtgox and another exchange. I want to move much of my BTC to this back up drive. I’m sure it was discussed above, but I have to ask the question to wrap my head around it. To send BTC from mtgox to my secure wallet on the usb drive… don’t I have to go on line witht he usb drive connected at some time? when I create the bitcoin wallet, does it generate a public key that I can send to from mtgox?

  32. Hi everyone, all had gone smoothly until the installation of bitcoin arose. my problem is as follows;

    1 – downloading the ubuntu bitcoin application.
    There are no links on the website so i tried to follow the method it described: (ppa:bitcoin/bitcoin) which only returned ‘no such file’. so how do i obtain these files.

  33. I’m sorry, I don’t understand any of this. I have a USB20FD drive plugged into a USB port on my computer. Do I do all this onto that drive? From beginning to end? Nothing on my computer then? Like I said, I don’t get it and if there is a way to loose my coins, I’ll do it! I don’t know if you can answer that or not. I don’t mean to be vague, but vague is how I feel after reading your instructions and all the other questions/answers here.
    Thanx for you time! Oz

  34. I am not able to open wallet.dat. I get the message:

    “Could not display “/home/ubuntu/.bitcoin/wallet.dat”.

    “The file is of unknown type”

    Why am I not able to open the wallet?

  35. I followed your instructions several months ago, and it worked great.
    I tried it again now, and I am having problems.
    I cannot access hidden files. When I click on edit> preferences, I get File Management Preferences. I check “show hidden and backup files” and click on “close” ( there is no OK button). This is where I get stuck, because I do not see ubuntu on the top left of the window.

    I am sure I missed something . Please help.

  36. I just want to make sure that I don’t have to download the blockchain everytime just so that it updates the wallet.dat with bitcoin. The bitcoin are there whether I update the blockchain or not right? And the wallet.dat is just keeping track of the private keys that correspond to the public keys that I give out to transfer money too right? So I could just save the wallet.dat, and send transaction after transaction to that address and never have to go through this process again UNLESS I wanted to use the bitcoin I sent to it?

    • You have the whole thing every time and that includes downloading the block chain. This takes a little time but it is a fresh install every time. The bitcoin app will show the previous transactions but you will need to download the blockchain to access or send any bitcoins.

  37. Weis, I just completed your process to protect my new wallet. I had a very small amount of BTC in my first wallet, on windows, and wanted to test sending it to my secure wallet (yes im a noob). So, I sent it and loaded the wallet.dat in unbuntu and I do not see the BTC i sent from my original wallet. Did I do something wrong here? Shouldn’t the transaction have occurred immediately?

  38. Thanks for this write-up, it’s helped my understanding a lot.

    My questions at the moment (partly to check i’m understanding correctly):

    What’s the procedure for transferring BTC from a ‘day-to-day’ account to the secure wallet?

    Your article says:

    “Once extracted go to your download folder and open Bin>32> and then open the Bitcoin icon. This will open the Bitcoin App. Now close it. The only reason that we opened it was to create a wallet.dat file.

    The next step is to make is so we can see the hidden files on the computer.”

    Does this miss out a step in which the user should make a record of receive address(es) he can use to send funds to the secured wallet? Or have I misunderstood something.

    From the comments I get the impression that it’s important to occasionally re-boot the bootable ubuntu USB stick, reinstall the bitcoin client, link it to the previously created secure wallet.dat file, and download recent blacks/transactions. If I understood this correctly when and why does this need to be done? (and what could happen if it wasn’t done in a timely way?)

    Thanks again.

    • Yes, you have to make a record of the receiving address of your savings account to send Bitcoins to it.

      Every time you want to use the savings account you will be using a fresh install of ubuntu so you don’t get any malware or viruses that could compromise the operating system. I understand it’s a hassle but it’s better then losing 25000 bitcoins like a few people did in the beginning.

  39. Thanks for the guide.

    Let’s say I made several copies of my secure, encrypted wallet. I email one to myself, store one on SugarSync or Dropbox, and keep a USB copy hidden.

    When I want to access my savings account, I simply take one of those encrypted files, unencrpyt it, and copy it into bitcoin.

    Not let’s say that I transfer 10 btc’s to my secure wallet on my USB. A week later, I lose the USB. Since I have copies of the wallet in my email, can I take that file in my email (which didn’t get the 10 btc’s sent to it), and paste it into bitcoin….will it then download all the current blocks, and therefore will also now contain my 10 btc’s?

    Thanks again.

    • Only under the condition that you didn’t receive the coins. You don’t actually have to be running the bitcoin client to receive the Bitcoins. Once you download the block that contains your transaction, another hash will be added to your wallet.dat file. So really, the only time you really need to use your savings wallet is when you want to transfer out. But, I just like to log in to see the Bitcoins pile up.

      In conclusion, once you have any kind of transaction with your savings wallet, back it up every way shape and form.

      Also, be careful about hosting your wallet.dat on a file hosting service. They are also targets of hackers.

      • Ok. I think I understand. So, once I do run the client using one of my backed up wallet files, and it downloads the new blocks and any coins I receive, then THAT wallet needs to be backed up and those new backups should then replace my old backups….is this correct?

          • So, each time you boot up ubuntu you have to redownload bitcoin, install it, overwrite your wallet with your secured saved one from the original set up, and then wait for bitcoin to download the blockchain again before you can use your wallet?

            Also, is it ok if someone sent you bitcoin to your wallet address if you don’t have it installed and it is just sitting on a secure thumbdrive?

            Two more questions hopefully you can answer. What happens if I sent money out of my secured savings wallet, then forgot to back it up…and opened it up the next time using the old save from before I sent bitcoin? And conversely, what if I received money on my wallet, but forgot to back it up and then opened it up with the old save?

            Thank you

          • Yes, the reason is that you want everything to be fresh and uncorrupted. If you don’t do a fresh install it is possible you may have downloaded some malware and you want to avoid that at all costs. Keep in mind this is a savings wallet and would be a hassle to use for day to day transactions.

            You do not have to be online to get the bitcoins that were sent to you. All of the transactions are stored in the block chain.

            You have the potential to lose your wallet but I’ve seen it go either way. Just make sure you back it up after any transaction.

  40. hi, im not really sure how this wallet thing works ?! i’ve located my wallet.dat file on my pc and i have encrypted it via the file properties (its gone green) is this not enough ?!
    how to bitcoins get into my wallet ?! and how do i see whats in my wallet ?!
    cheers dom

    • The wallet.dat file contains your addresses. Basically, the Bitcoin network is peer to peer so every time bitcoins move, it is tracked. It is still anonymous because there is no name or email involved in the tracking. Every time you have a Bitcoin transaction the information in your wallet.dat changes.

      So, if you encrypt your wallet and get a Trojan virus that wants to send the information from your wallet back to a server, you will be fine until you actually need to use your wallet. Then, you will need to un-encrypt it and that is when the Trojan will take your money.

      The reason I recommend using a USB to boot Ubuntu is that every time you boot, it is like a brand new operating system. Therefor, if you somehow managed to get a bug while using Ubuntu, the next time you reboot everything would be gone and it would be brand new again.

      One of the main security measures is to not go messing around on the internet while running Ubuntu while you are using your wallet. Before or after. The whole point is to keep that system clean as hell.

      • ok, yep i totally get that. so to reiterate …

        boot into linx
        install bitcoin
        keep new wallet.dat (because its clean)
        then when i receive a payment boot into
        linx install bitcoin
        copy over my old wallet.dat to new install
        take payment and move wallet back to other
        mem card???
        and repeat every time

        so would you not have the bitcoin client installed on your windows mining rig at all??

        • I’m a little confused by the order of your list. The one thing you really need to do once you get your wallet up and running is to make sure you never copy over that wallet. So once you receive your bitcoins on that wallet, make sure that you copy it to a thumb drive or 2. Then when you want to access your wallet again, run Ubuntu, install Bitcoin and take the wallet from your thumb drive and copy it into your .bitcoin folder, overwriting the new one.

          Not really unless you are solo mining. If you are mining in a pool then no.

          • ok i’ve done this now all works ok! i understand that booting a new system every time is very safe but i have installed linux on the usb using the storage method, so it saves my con-fig and progs etc .
            if im only using this usb install for my bitcoin client then surely its still very safe ?!?
            if im not web browsing or using e-mail etc then i’d be very unlikely to get a trojan wallet.dat virus ?!! am i correct in thinking this?! cheers

          • Hi Thinkweis,

            If I want to mine bitcoin in a pool, shouldn’t I need to run the bitcoin client so that my computer can participate in solving the algorithm?

    • In mac the path is:
      /Volumes/Bitcoin ~/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin
      Keep in mind you will probably have to make it so you can view hidden files. I don’t have a lot of Mac experience but I would guess that you can find it in the preferences or tools menu in the file explorer.

  41. Thanks for a great guide for a non-geek.
    Unfortunately, I am not able to run Ubuntu from USB drive. I hit Esc and Del keys restarting computer several times, but no screen poped up. The only option i have is installing Ubuntu from the ” computer” screen. I have windows 7.
    What could be happening?
    I followed your instructions very carefully.

    • Thanks Alice for your question. Sometimes it isn’t the Esc or Del keys. When your computer is booting up look at the text at the bottom of the page for anything that says to press something to enter the boot menu and if you don’t see anything like that, try to figure out what key you have to press to enter bios. If it doesn’t say anything, start hitting the different F keys until you get lucky. Make sure you do it in sequence so you know how to get back when you need to. Start with F1 and keep hitting it until you get to the bios or boot screen and if Windows starts up, reboot and try F2 and so on.

      Just in case – Make sure you have your USB drive in your computer before you reboot.

      If you get the boot screen, select boot from USB and run Ubuntu from the thumb drive.

      If you get to the bios, you will have to look around for “Boot Priority”. It will be under one of the tabs and you will have to use your arrow keys to find it. ***If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t guess. Only change what I tell you to! *** Once you find the boot options it will probably show up something like below:

      1 Floppy
      2 Hard Drive
      3 CD
      4 USB

      You will want to scroll down to the USB option, once it’s highlighted look for what button will make it “move up”. Move USB to the top slot. Go to the exit tab by using your arrow keys (you might have to hit escape to back out of the boot options) Select “save and exit” and next time you reboot it should boot from the USB drive.

      Lastly, if you find the boot menu and there is no option for USB, you will have to burn Ubuntu onto a CD and boot from there. When you go to the Ubuntu download page, there is a button to put Ubuntu on to a bootable CD. Just follow those instructions and pick up back here when you’re done.

      Hope this helps. Whether it does or doesn’t, I would love to hear back from you to see how it went.

      Good Luck!

      • Thank you Thinkweis.

        It worked. Right before booting, I had an option to click on F12 for boot menu, which I did not see before because I did not know what to look for.

        What do you mean by copying over the wallet?

        One scary thing is that Ubuntu does not give a warning for deleting.

        Thanks again

        • When you follow along and are looking at the .bitcoin folder and you see a file named “wallet.dat” – right click it and a menu appears. On the menu there is a “copy” option. Click that. You are making a copy of that file. Then you put in another USB stick, it should show up on your desktop. Double click that and it will open another file explorer window. Once that is open, right click anywhere inside and select “paste”. Now you have a copy of your wallet on a USB drive. You need to make a copy if you have any bitcoins in there because if you don’t and shut down the computer, the wallet.dat file on Ubuntu will be deleted.

          • That’s great. Thanks.

            What did you mean by ” make sure that you do not overwrite your wallet.dat file”?


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