Back in June I was mining just to see what it was all about. I grabbed bitcoin-qt, generated an address and put that address into the payout info of my account at the pool I was mining in. I told it to send to my wallet for every .5 coins mined and during the time I let it run I managed to accumulate just over .5

I eventually quit running it, and sort of forgot about it. I later formatted and re-installed, but I remembered my progress and backed up the folder containing my miner and my wallet. Now it's Dec and my .5 coin is worth a bit of cash. However I didn't export or back up my wallet, I just copied the folder. Since there was no install routine I figured this was enough to preserve my addresses.

I still have the address I told it to send to and I can see the payout in the block chain and I see my address waiting for the payment. Is there a way to put this address into my wallet or am I out of luck?

  • Are you sure the folder you copied doesn't have a wallet.dat file in it?
    – Anonymous
    Dec 5, 2013 at 5:40
  • Yea, unfortunately it stores it in something like C:\users\<user>\appdata\blah\blah\etc. I ASSumed it would have everything it needed in the folder since there was no installation.
    – bit_dummy
    Dec 6, 2013 at 1:17
  • If you copied the appdata folder then it should contain the wallet.dat with your coins inside.
    – Anonymous
    Dec 6, 2013 at 1:20
  • That's the problem, I didn't. I uncompressed the bitcoin-qt archive to a folder of that name and stored it in a folder on my desktop that had my miner in it as well. I knew that I could export or backup the wallet but didn't think it was necessary. I thought the install would be "portable" because of it not having an installation routine. You live and learn I guess :(
    – bit_dummy
    Dec 6, 2013 at 1:42

2 Answers 2


You're out of luck if you don't have the wallet, only the address. If anybody could take control of an address they don't have the private key of, the whole system is broken.

  • Yea as I was laying there falling asleep last night it occurred to me if all you needed was the destination address... well of course it seems silly now. I really wish I had backed up that wallet file. That's 500+ bucks down the drain. Oh well that will teach me to pay closer attention next time.
    – bit_dummy
    Dec 5, 2013 at 22:35

For this answer, I'm going to assume that you were using the official Bitcoin client, Bitcoin-qt, since that's the most likely scenario.

If you still have the wallet.dat file from when you originally generated the address, you should be OK. If you did not save the wallet.dat file, then there will be no way for you to claim your money, and the bitcoins will just sit on the blockchain indefinitely. If you have the wallet.dat file, you can re-load it like this:

  1. Install Bitcoin-qt on your new installation (Download Link)

  2. Run Bitcoin-qt and wait until it updates the block chain. This could take a very, very long time.

  3. Stop Bitcoin-qt.

  4. Go to Bitcoin-qt's data directory. You can find out where the directory is here. If you are running linux, this should probably just be ~/.bitcoin.

  5. Replace the autogenerated wallet.dat file with the one that you backed up from your miner.

  6. Re-start bitcoin-qt

After this, the client should read your keys and calculate the money stored in this address.

  • I appreciate the info but sadly, I don't have the wallet.dat. I even ran Recuva to see if I would have any luck of getting it but seeing as it was over 4 months or so that I formatted it didn't work, not that I expected it to. Ah well, lesson learned the hard way not soon forgotten right?
    – bit_dummy
    Dec 5, 2013 at 22:38

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