Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on my problem..

  1. I think I sent bitcoins from an online wallet to my offline wallet BitcoinQT(0.81) in august.
  2. The transaction has been confirmed, but not redeemed, (due to my offline wallet not being synced i believe)
  3. I encrypted today, before bitcoinqt had completed initial sync.
  4. Now i've just realised that I've probably lost the associated change address in the unencrypted wallet. as the address it was sent to was not the same as the receive address that showed in bitcoinQTfrom the unencrypted wallet.
  5. i have no backup of the unencrypted wallet.dat


Q1. Am I correct that i've lost my bitcoins?
Q2. Does bitcoinqt overwrite the wallet.dat file when it encrypts the wallet? or does it create a new copy, such that I may be able to recover the old wallet.dat using recovery sw like testdisk?
Q3. If answer to Q2 is not overwritten, what is the likelihood of being able to retrieve the unencrypted wallet.dat or change addresses considering the bitcoinqt client was syncing/processing blocks for about 20mins before i shutdown?
Q4. Would it be possible to recover the wallet.dat from the app data folder in a system restore (winxp)?

Thanks again,


Update Q1: Looks likely that i've either sent them to a different wallet - or my blockchain.info account (with 2FA) was hacked. :(
Update Q2: Bitcoinqt does not immediately overwrite the unencrypted wallet.dat after encrypting the file.
Update: Q4: It may have been possible to recover the walllet.app from the app data folder in system restore (but i didn't have this enabled)
Lesson learnt? too early to say, but always keep a backup...

  • Why wouldn't the key be in your encrypted wallet? Nov 21 '13 at 4:00
  • hey david, thanks for the comment, because it was a private key for a change address?
    – user9054
    Nov 21 '13 at 23:01
  • The (public?) address that the bitcoins currently reside at shows in blockchain explorer is different to the receive address I saw in bitcoinqt with the unencrypted wallet, so i guessed it was a change address (one of the 100 pregenereated that is only kept with my unencrypted wallet, and reset/removed when i encrypted?)
    – user9054
    Nov 21 '13 at 23:38
  • I sent coins from an online wallet to an offline unencrypted wallet, and then encrypted the offline (w/out backup, hence discarded) without either of them having completed initial sync on bitcoinqt
    – user9054
    Nov 21 '13 at 23:43
  • because the address it was sent to wasn't the same as the receive address on bitcoinqt?
    – user9054
    Nov 21 '13 at 23:46

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