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I took an old laptop out of storage today because I recalled trying to mine BTC years ago. I remember giving up quickly because, whatever the UI was, it showed that I had mined 0. I'd like to confirm that.

Is there anything in any of these files that would confirm that there's 0 BTC in these? debug.log seems to be the only plaintext file.

Date modified on these files are in the range of 05/2011 ~ 06/2011

/user/AppData/Roaming/Bitcoin
-database/    (9MB)
-.lock        (0KB)
-__db.001    
-__db.002    
-__db.003    
-__db.004    
-__db.005    
-__db.006    
-addr.dat    (18MB)
-blk0001.dat (279MB)
-blkindex.dat(133MB)
-db.log      (0KB)
-debug.log   (3MB)
-wallet.dat  (104KB)
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What I would do in this case (the easiest approach):

  • Copy wallet.dat to a new directory called Bitcoin in %appdata%
  • Run latest Bitcoin core
  • Open the console and do
  • dumpwallet C:\Users\yourusername\Desktop\wallet.txt
  • Quit Core and delete your new Bitcoin directory. (Don't forget to delete it, it might become larger than 100 MB, to save space)
  • Save my script with Ctrl + S and name it dumpwallet.html. Open it in your browser. Copy the wallet.txt output here so that only the private keys are listed.
  • Import wallet to Electrum: "New wallet > Import private keys > Copy from the webpage output"

Then you can see your balance or spend from it.

The tedious approach is to use db_dump of db-util to dump all the transactions and calculate the final balance by yourself. I would not bother doing it this way.

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  • Thank you. The old computer is extremely slow. Can I move these files to a new computer and do this, or is there something tied to that machine? Jan 10 at 16:59
  • Yes, you just need to copy wallet.dat to new folder named Bitcoin in %appdata% on your new computer. Then when you launch Core, it'll show 0 BTC however that doesn't mean anything, so just follow the steps above then. I can also write in more details on "import wallet to electrum" once you come to that step
    – MCCCS
    Jan 10 at 17:00
  • Thanks. Was able to follow these steps. Looks like the best block at time of backup was mined on 2010-03-21, and there are 1000 lines in here. One with label= and the rest with reserve=1. If I did this correctly, I'm looking in Electrum and they indeed all have a balance of 0 and Tx of 0. Jan 10 at 17:59
  • 1
    reserve means unused, so yes.
    – MCCCS
    Jan 10 at 18:11
  • Thanks. When I run Bitcoin core, will it ask for a passcode? Because I don't have it.
    – user114196
    Jan 19 at 16:18

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