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My ledger got reset and passphrase doesn’t work..

Hello there, so my usb port on the ledger was not working well (on/off several times while using it) one morning my ledger totally got reset. i tried to recover it with my passphrase (tried 4 times) but always got same error (cf photo) i tried to swap some words incase of a miss typo. but when i change 1 word i always got the “wrong passphrase” on the ledger. so my 24 words phrase looks ok no? i got like 35k in defi via metamask on it, can’t move shit. my collateral will be liquidate if eth moves lower soon. i’m a bit scared since its been 4 days without an answer from support. don’t know what do to, i tried everything i know. Thanks for help boys

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4 Comments

  1. Some of the things you said don’t quite make sense, so let’s make sure we have all the correct details. If it helps, imagine you’re telling a blind 5 year old exactly what you see and exactly the steps you’re doing, click-by-click. (Apologies if this sounds childish, but I work in software development and I find this technique is very useful when trying to get users or QA to explain the exact problem.)

    As other posters mentioned, “passphrase” is not the same thing as “recovery phrase” (the Ledger Nano will never display “wrong passphrase” as all passphrases are potentially valid), and “Ledger Live” (software) is not the same thing as your Ledger Nano hardware. Ledger Live will never ask you to type in a recovery phrase or passphrase, but the Ledger Nano hardware will.

    So, it sounds like you’ve got a 24 word recovery phrase that you enter into the Ledger Nano. Does that work correctly? Or are you getting “invalid recovery phrase” when you enter your original 24 words?

    Assuming that worked, then what happens next? You get an error from Ledger Live (the software)? What exactly does the error say? You should never be entering any passphrase into Ledger Live, so I’m not sure how you’re getting “the passphrase is not associated with this account”. Is this on the Ledger Nano hardware? Could you tell us the exact error message you see and where you’re seeing it?

    You said that when you change or swap one of the words you get “invalid recovery phrase”, but that is expected.

  2. u/doopitoo

    If Ledger Live asked you to enter your recovery phrase into Ledger Live itself.. you downloaded a malicious copy and you need to export your accounts and transfer your funds to another wallet ASAP.

    Ledger’s support site contains advice for exporting your accounts here: [https://support.ledger.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005297709-Export-your-accounts](https://support.ledger.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005297709-Export-your-accounts)

    You can verify that this link above is legitimate by:
    – going to the “About” section of this subreddit
    – clicking “Customer Support”
    – searching for, “Export your accounts”
    – and clicking the article for whichever device you have (either should do though, info is basically the same).

    You will essentially recover your account using your 24-word phrase, afterwards you will need to send your funds to another wallet that you have the keys for and have backed up securely.

    I hope this isn’t what happened, but figure it’s better to lay all this out for you just in case your keys _were_ compromised.

  3. The ledger live message indicates that the seed phrase that was in your ledger when the account was created was different from from the seed phrase currenly in your ledger, or that you used a different bip39 passphrase.

    Actually it is quite easy to make mistakes when writing or reading the 24-word seed, because many of the words in the BIP39 are similar with only 1 letter difference, so making an error is easy, e.g. fog/dog, boat/goat, wait/want, etc.

    Each word is in a 2048-word list: https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/blob/master/bip-0039/english.txt

    Since there is 2048 words in the list, each word is equivalent to 11 bits (2^11 = 2048). The last 8 bits of the 24th word is a checksum, so not all combinations of 24 words are valid, which helps to find out if a word was changed from an originally valid list (e.g. error in writing or reading the list).

    The checksum will catch such errors about 99.6% of the times. There is still about 0.4% chances that a wrong word gets undetected by the checksum, and that the resulting 24-word phrase will be seen as “valid”. But it will generate a different seed, so it won’t give you access to your accounts that were derived from your original seed.

    The good news is that this sort of problem can be resolved and the correct phrase can be found using bruteforce means. We routinely do that for our clients.

    Bruteforcing is tedious by hand but can be performed easily using specialized software tools. If you want to do it yourself with tools downloaded from the internet, make sure you check them by reading all their their source code (or risk your seed to be stolen!), and make sure to run the tools in a very secure environment, on an off-line (air-gapped) computer.

    Another possible cause could be that years ago, you set-up a BIP39 passphrase in ledger > settings > security > passphrase, and forgot that you did that. In that case, you would need to know your EXACT passphrase in order to recover access to your old accounts.

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