So I got myself into this situation.

I have a Bitcoin core wallet, which was up to date and all the way synced. Two days ago I tried to start it up again but when I tried to shut my laptop down I had a notification that I had no more free disc space, so Bitcoin core automatically shutted down. The day after I started my laptop again and the program was gone from my start task bar and had to go search it manually in program files. To my surprise when I opened my wallet it had to restart synchronizing all the way back from the start again. Not only that, all of my database directory was gone from the %appdata%\bitcoin folder! It started everything back from the beginning.

Of course I couldn't as I had no more free disk space. Now the strange thing is, all that space on my Hard drive went to the bitcoin database directory. But if my files are gone, and I still have no free disk space then where are they now, are they stored some place alse or hidden? Or did my hard drive crashed? If they where permanently gone I should have had free disk space again.

How can I solve this and recover my bitcoins? Please help, I'm freaking out as I'm afraid I won't be able to recover them any more as all my dat.files are gone!

  • Do you have your wallet.dat file still?
    – Scott
    Nov 5, 2017 at 20:47
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    No, I'm afraid I don't. I know it's very dumb of me, I recently moved my btc from wallet and forgot to do it for this one now. I'm hoping to recover it somehow as my hard drive still has the database files I guess as it's still full.
    – Axiom90
    Nov 5, 2017 at 21:03
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    Immediately, make a full image back up of the hard drive (not a file by file backup, but a backup of every sector) and do not make any modifications to any data on that hard drive until you have done so. If the file was deleted by not overwritten, everything you do increases the risk that the private keys will be overwritten. You need to be able to get back to where you are now before you make any changes to the data on the drive! This is absolutely vital. Nov 5, 2017 at 21:08
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    I'm not touching it, it's turned off as I'm afraid to do anything wrong. What I mean is I made a transaction from one wallet to this one I made now to save disk space on my laptop I daily use. So I downloaded bitcoin core to another laptop and I put them on there, I received them but afterwards I forgot to make a back up file, and now this happened. Worst possible scenario!
    – Axiom90
    Nov 6, 2017 at 2:18
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    So what should I do then? turn on the laptop and make a full image back up or leave the laptop off?
    – Axiom90
    Nov 6, 2017 at 2:19

2 Answers 2


This is not a complete answer, but the question implies a possible misunderstanding which this attempts to correct.

Summary: if you can rescue wallet.dat, you're fine.

The only valuable file in the Bitcoin Core user system is wallet.dat. The blockchain files are necessary for the application to be able to see the transactions on the blockchain that sent bitcoins to you and to figure out how many bitcoins you "own" (can spend). What is actually in wallet.dat are your private keys, which is all you need to have.

If Bitcoin Core doesn't have access to the blockchain data then it doesn't know that you have any bitcoins. Once it has access again -- after re-downloading (takes a long time!) -- on this or on another computer, you will be able to see your bitcoin balance.


Your bitcoins are safe as long as you maintain control of your wallet.dat file. You have a few choices. You can either:

  1. Use another bitcoin wallet software which does not require you download the entire blockchain (such as Electrum). Import your wallet.dat file into this new program. Bitcoin.org has other choices.
  2. Free up space on your current computer and use the existing Bitcoin core wallet software.
  3. Transfer your wallet.dat file to another computer and use Bitcoin core wallet software or the Electrum wallet software to gain access to your Bitcoins again.

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