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I have been in crypto for a few years and over time, changed computer several times, transferring entire C drive content every time.

My new computer has a smaller C partition and I'm trying to free some space. I just found out I have an "Ethereum" folder in User/AppData/Local that I've carried along all this time, and it weighs 22Gb!!

I remember when I first started crypto back then, I thought mining was required, and I know I tried something, but stopped after getting some error message somewhere that I couldn't fix. However, as I'm now finding out, my computer did download (and install? and/or run?) something that I've been carrying along this whole time, and now it's apparently weighing heavy on my resources.

Exploring further, that /Ethereum folder contains:

  • /geth
  • /keystore

/keystore is (sadly) empty...

/geth contains:

  • /chaindata (22Gb)
  • /ethash (140Mb)
  • /nodes
  • /triecash
  • LOCK (file with no extension)
  • nodekey (file with no extension)
  • transactions.rlp

What am I supposed to make of this? Should I just erase this? Am I sitting on a stash of something? I don't necessarily want to store ETH blockchain on my C drive, I need the space, but I can't decently erase this without making sure it doesn't have any value.

Help, anyone?

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What you have is an old Ethereum node that is completely out of sync.

/keystore

Warning danger danger!

If you had files in /keystore, you should keep them. Those files are your encrypted private keys (decrypted with a password that you set). The private keys give you control of your addresses on the blockchain. Lose these files and you lose all the tokens on these addresses forever. Since the folder is already empty, there is no issue there for you. You had apparently no encrypted private keys.

/geth

This is the folder where the Ethereum node is kept. It does not have any value in itself since you can always sync a new node (aka download the blockchain from other nodes on the network). In fact, the node that you have must be so old and out-of-sync that you would have to sync a new node from scratch anyways, so that folder can be safely deleted.

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  • If I were to plug one of my old computers back in and found out there's actually a file in the /keystore folder on that PC, is it correct to assume that I don't need the rest of the /Ethereum folder to open the wallet? So if I trash it now, and find a private key later, I'm not doomed, correct?
    – frenchfilm
    Jul 15 '21 at 14:03
  • Exactly. You do not even need a local node to access your addresses with a keystore file. You can even do it online (myetherwallet.com/wallet/access/software?type=keystore). However, be super careful that you are not on a phishing website because if you give your file and password to a malicious site, they can now access your accounts.
    – Undead8
    Jul 15 '21 at 15:40
  • Thanks. This answered all my questions
    – frenchfilm
    Jul 18 '21 at 13:18

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