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Although I do have a backed up wallet file, I seem to also have a second bitcoin receiving address, which doesn't seem to correspond to it. Is there a way to recover any coins associated with that receiving address, or are the coins lost forever?

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How did you lose your wallet? This might help us if #2 in my answer below applies. –  Highly Irregular Aug 30 '12 at 4:39
    
How recent was that wallet backup. Within the past 100 transactions (incoming / received) that you've had? –  Stephen Gornick Aug 31 '12 at 19:45
    
I had to refresh my computer do to updates and all my installed software such as bit coin wallet was gone after the process. I did back up my wallet almost everyday and also I did it on a external hard-drive, but when I re-instal the bit coin wallet from bitcoin.org it give me a new receiving address and even if I have all back -up data and my previous receiving bit coin wallet where all my bit coins I have purchased were I do not know why is it not showing it in my new wallet. I have tried to recover and open my back up wallet files but it does not show my bit coins. Please help. I did watch –  desi Feb 7 at 9:01
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2 Answers

You can't get your bitcoins with just the receiving address (if that could be done, they could easily be stolen), so your only chances of retrieving them are:

  1. If they're stored in the wallet file you have backed up, then you can use that
  2. Somehow recovering the original wallet file, which is a data recovery exercise. This might be possible in the case of a failure or deletion of a hard disk, or a deletion from an SD card/memory stick
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It sounds like you have an old wallet backup that does not have the private key to the public address you are looking for. You are probably in the realm of data recovery.

I wrote a blog article that might help: http://gary-rowe.com/agilestack/2012/08/17/how-to-recover-your-bitcoins-from-a-failed-hard-drive/

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And it should be made clear, ... if this was enough money to worry about -- STOP USING THE COMPUTER which had the wallet before it was lost/damaged/corrupted/etc. Chances of recovery may diminish each time your computer does anything to the hard drive. –  Stephen Gornick Aug 31 '12 at 19:47
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