So I found my old wallet from 2011, I was able to pull my address and my PrivateKey using pywallet. I downloaded Bitcoin-QT, copied the old wallet over and reran with -scan. Since it was a new install the blockchain is still updating (not finished as of this post).

I searched my address at blockchain.info and it said that address didn't have a balance. With that being said, are my efforts at recovering the wallet pointless? I pulled the wallet off an old drive so it hasn't connected since 6/2011. The entire directory is intact and the block that was processed is still in the directory as well, about 301MB big. Not sure if that helps me at all in this case.

EDIT: Here'e the pywallet dump with critical data removed. The fact that there is nothing under tx makes me believe that I'm wasting my time.

"bestblock": "REDACTED",
"ckey": [],
"defaultkey": "1PSatNhRDmmR6rfK5c9XJvqwB92z7beRa",
"keys": [
        "addr": "1PSatNhRDmmR6rfK5c9XJvqwB92z7beRa",
        "compressed": false,
        "hexsec": "REDACTED",
        "label": "",
        "private": "REDACTED",
        "pubkey": "REDACTED",
        "reserve": 0,
        "sec": "REDACTED",
        "secret": "REDACTED"
"mkey": {},
"names": {
    "1PSatNhRDmmR6rfK5c9XJvqwB92z7beRa": ""
"pool": [],
"settings": {
    "addrProxy": "",
    "fGenerateBitcoins": "False",
    "fUseProxy": "False"
"tx": [],
"version": 32100
  • what do you get with listtransactions? – jcomeau_ictx Feb 2 '14 at 21:37
  • I get an empty dataset from Bitcoin-QT. The Blockchain hasn't finished downloading yet, so I'll try again once it has, but I'm sure it will be the same. – Majordeek Feb 2 '14 at 21:41
  • What do you mean by "the block that was processed"? – Nate Eldredge Feb 2 '14 at 21:47
  • @nate-eldredge Sorry, my entire concept behind everything is still Beginner at best. What I'm referencing is the blk0001.dat file in the same directory as the wallet.dat on the older computer. I don't THINK it has any relevance to the recovery process, but thought I would throw it in there just in case. – Majordeek Feb 2 '14 at 21:52
  • Oh, I see. blk0001.dat is just blocks (transaction data) that you have downloaded, so indeed it is not relevant here. Anyway, it sounds like you never had any coins, so there is nothing to recover. – Nate Eldredge Feb 2 '14 at 22:23

It's worth keeping in mind that your "wallet" doesn't actually contain any bitcoins. What your wallet contains is the private keys that permit you to spend coins that have been sent to any of your addresses. Which addresses have been sent coins is a matter of public record (the blockchain).

If you had previously received (or mined) coins using one or more of your addresses that are contained in that wallet, then the record of those transactions will still exist. Note that your wallet likely contains more than one address, particularly if you've used it for anything at all. The address you have shown in your question has not received any coins.

If you have copied your old wallet.dat file into a new Bitcoin client, the first thing to do would be wait for the blockchain download to complete. Your client won't know about any coins that have been sent to the addresses in your wallet without actually seeing the whole blockchain.

  • That's pretty much what I assumed. I've never had anyone send me any BTCs before, I had just done a bit of mining on the older computer for several months and then forgot about it. What about the processed block that's on the older drive? Anything that can be done with that? – Majordeek Feb 2 '14 at 21:43
  • If you had done "a bit of mining" then one of three things happened: (1) You were solo mining and you got the (then) 50 BTC mining reward (this would be really important and lucky); (2) You were solo mining and never found a block; (3) You were mining in a pool and got some share of a mined block. It sounds like (2) was probably the case. Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "processed block". Is that the blk0001.dat file? – Greg Hewgill Feb 2 '14 at 22:05
  • The blk0001.dat file that you found on your old drive has no value; it is a copy of the actual blockchain at the time you stopped running that client. Your newly installed client has probably already downloaded the blockchain well past that point. – Greg Hewgill Feb 2 '14 at 22:13
  • Yeah, (2) does sound like that's what happened, especially if the address I have from that wallet still reports back with no BTCs from blockchain.info – Majordeek Feb 2 '14 at 22:19

Keep downloading for sure
If you were given the address when you began to mine and then you weren’t online to receive the bitcoin then you sync that address at least up to the date the bitcoin were sent to you in order to show a balance
Also, import the private key into a wallet and then click on receive more addresses or something like that and it will give you more addresses from that wallet
I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure that’s what I remember

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