1.8 Contingency Planning

Ross Nicoll bio photo By Ross Nicoll

With the AuxPoW fork now just under two weeks away, I wanted to talk about the what to do in case of problems. These are all per-user level issues, the main network risk would be if we didn’t achieve at least 50% of nodes on 1.8 before the fork; given we’re at 48.7% now I think we can presume we’ll hit that.

First of all, some of you may be holding off on updating to 1.8 because you’re expecting another client to come out and figure you’ll wait for that. That new client is 1.8.1 and it is specifically scheduled to come out after the AuxPoW fork. What that means is your existing client will stop being part of the main chain, before the update comes out. My personal estimate is that 1.8.1 won’t be out until October

Lets say however that you don’t manage to update before the fork, because you’re busy, don’t find out in time, whatever what happens next? Well, the ideal scenario is you’re not running your client when the fork happens; just grab the 1.8 client, update, run it, wait for the re-index to happen, and it should be fine. If you know you can’t update in time but do have access to your client, please shut down your wallet before the 11th September, to reduce the number of broken nodes active on the network.

If your client is running after the fork, you’ll now be on the wrong fork. This means that any coins you send to those on the main fork will not show up, and equally any coins they send you will not show in your client. If you’re mining on the wrong fork, any coins mined will simply be lost. First thing to try is simply update down and seeing if the client fixes itself:

  1. Back up your wallet file (“File” menu -> “Backup Wallet…”) just in case
  2. Shut down your client
  3. Update
  4. Start the new client
  5. Wait for the re-index to complete
  6. You’ll initially be on the wrong fork, but your client should pick up the new fork and correct itself. I’d suggest leaving it overnight to see if this works.
  7. Any transactions on the wrong chain will be lost. That’s why we tell you to update before the fork. If you sent coins, you can re-send them once the resync has finished.

Okay, lets say your client doesn’t hop to the new fork; you’ll have to rebuild your whole block database. So:

  1. Back up your wallet file as above
  2. Shut down your client
  3. Delete your blocks from disk. These are in the %AppData%\Dogecoin directory on Windows, “~/.dogecoin” on Linux. You want to delete the folders “blocks” and “chainstate”, and the file “peers.dat”.
  4. Download a bootstrap file from https://bootstrap.chain.so/ and place it into the folder above, where the “blocks” and “chainstate” folders were.
  5. Run your client. A full resync takes a few hours, so you may want to sleep or something. Note that as with a re-index, your transactions won’t show up until the client has resynced the blocks containing them, so initially it will show with a zero balance.
  6. As above, any transactions on the wrong chain will be lost.

Lastly, if you do update and any coins you send/receive don’t make it, it most likely means the other side hasn’t updated. Nag them to do so; we’ve contacted somewhere over 100 merchants and service providers, but we can’t get everyone individually!