Bitcoin Core reads replaced wallet.dat file as 0.0000000 BTC

Bitcoin Questions and AnswersCategory: General questionsBitcoin Core reads replaced wallet.dat file as 0.0000000 BTC
Chuck asked 6 days ago

I let Bitcoin Core finish downloading/syncing completely. When I replaced the Core wallet.dat file that’s created upon downloading Core, with my own wallet.dat file, Bitcoin Core still says 0.000000 BTC.  Forum said I may need to -upgradewallet in console, but that command did not work, apparently because this is the latest version of Bitcoin Core and the wallet is already up-to-date.  Do you know why Core is not seeing any keys or reading the wallet.dat file?  Maybe there’s another program to use to read wallet.dat files to see how many bitcoins are present?  Can Electrum read wallet.dat files?  If so, do you know the steps for making this happen?  Or maybe you have a better route to take? I appreciate your help in advance.  Have a great day!

1 Answers
Steven Hay Staff answered 6 days ago

Hey Chuck,
The most important thing is to ensure that you keep your original wallet.dat backup secure. Creating a copy or, even better, multiple copies is a good idea before proceeding any further.
To answer your questions in order:

  1. Nope, I don’t know what’s happening. We’ll have to troubleshoot methodically to figure it out.
  2. I don’t know of any such program offhand. It would be very dangerous to use unknown programs which promise a solution. I’d strongly advise against any person or program which promises a solution but requires access to your wallet.dat.
  3. Electrum can indirectly read wallet.dat files – more accurately what happens is you dump the privkey within the Core console and then sweep those privkeys into Electrum. However, if nothing appears in your addresses within Core, I can’t see how sweeping your addresses into another wallet will help.
  4. I think the best route to take here is to figure out the problem with Core.

I have some questions of my own which will hopefully help us to discover the issue:

  1. Are you using a non-standard data directory or were you using one at the time of the original backup? This is a setting you would have had to change manually. Here’s some info on locating and setting the data directory: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Data_directory
  2. Do you remember which version of Core you were using previously?
  3. What is the size of your backup wallet.dat file?
  4. Are you able to tell when the file was originally created and does this match with your memory of when you backed up?
  5. Does Bitcoin Core import addresses with a history of usage? In other words, after placing the wallet.dat into your current data directory and running Core, do your receiving addresses have transactional history? Paste the addresses into a blockchain explorer (like blockchain.info) to check this.

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