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My bitcoin private key is on a .txt file somewhere, how best to find it?

Hi, I have a few bitcoins that I bought years ago when they were around $200 each. Sadly though I can’t find them. I do remember I put the private key in a .txt file somewhere. What would be the best way to find it? (Yes, I know it was dumb to put private key in .txt file, but this was before bitcoin was worth much so I didn’t really care)

I’ve already tried pretty much everything to find them. I went through a few reformats of my OS as well since then. This was on my old desktop which I don’t use anymore. I’m wondering though if there’s a sliver of a chance to find it. (In windows it does save old reformat files in windows.old folder if you choose to keep it, so I was looking through all of that..)

Also, I do recall I had the [blockchain.info](https://blockchain.info) app on my old android phone back then.. I’m wondering if I could mess with that somehow to get access to wallet.

I’m pretty bummed about this as I didn’t expect bitcoin to reach these prices lmao. I just liked the technology back then. Thanks for your help.



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6 Comments

  1. do a search for txt files (*.txt) and check every file it finds, also make sure to look through hidden folders (you can change this in the explorer settings)

    good luck

  2. If the hard drive in question was formatted and then used again your chances of data recovery are slim. Quick formats don’t actually delete the data but rather deletes the links to that data that the file system would reference to retrieve it; but since the drive in question was reformatted multiple times and used for your OS in all likelihood the data is gone.

    Recuva is what I used to check my old drives and you can specify what data you want to see when it’s done analyzing (images, text, music, etc).

  3. You can use grep for windows to search the entire file system for specific patterns. This will search the text within the files.

    Could search for the different types of keys that would have existed then. Probably using a regex pattern which plenty exist online.

    You can also use grep to just return you a list of all .txt files on the system if you’re sure it’s txt and you never modified it to try to hide it or something.

  4. Sounds like your looking for the key in a DELETED file. If that is the case, turn off the computer and remove the drive. Talk to Dave about offering a 20% bounty for data recovery of the key on the drive. If you are talking about enough bitcoin he might take the case, or refer you to someone.

    “Dave” runs the company from 2013. Lopp is a recommended source in r/Bitcoin “resources” tab.
    * https://www.lopp.net/bitcoin-information/recommended-wallets.html#recovery

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