I have a very old wallet, which I am unable to open. It is password protected, but I know what the password is. Bitcoin Core says Salvage failed.

Booted LiveUSB Ubuntu and installed pywallet.

ubuntu@ubuntu:~/Desktop/pywallet$ sudo ./pywallet.py --recover --recov_device /dev/sdc1 --recov_size 1Gio --recov_outputdir /home/ubuntu/Desktop/recover/ Enter the passphrase for the wallet that will contain all the recovered keys: 123456

Enter the possible passphrases used in your deleted wallets. Don't forget that more passphrases = more time to test the possibilities. Write one passphrase per line and end with an empty line. Possible passphrase: xxxxxxxx Possible passphrase:

Starting recovery. 0.10 Go read 0.20 Go read 0.30 Go read 0.40 Go read 0.50 Go read 0.60 Go read 0.70 Go read 0.80 Go read 0.90 Go read 1.00 Go read

Read 1.1 Go in 0.7 minutes

Found 1 possible wallets Found 221 possible encrypted keys Found 0 possible unencrypted keys

Possible wallet #1 with passphrase #1

Private keys not decrypted: 221 Trying all the remaining possibilities (221) might take up to 0 minutes. Do you want to test them? (y/n): y

Private keys not decrypted: 221 Try another password, check the size of your partition or seek help The wallet is encrypted and the passphrase is correct


The new wallet /home/ubuntu/Desktop/recover//recovered_wallet_1513352751.dat contains the 0 recovered key ubuntu@ubuntu:~/Desktop/pywallet$

So it recognizes the password as correct, but it doesn't decrypt the keys.

Please help.

1 Answer 1


Note there are two kinds of encryption for wallets:

Encryption of the wallet itself, and of just the private keys.
If your wallet is very old, it did not support wallet encryption at the time. Only your private keys are encrypted.

Decrypting your private keys has failed because your passphrase is wrong. pywallet is just not giving you a good error message.

I wrote a guide to corrupt Bitcoin Wallet recovery which has some other tools you can try.

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