Issue + How do passphrases and hidden wallets work?

Hello everyone,

I have I bought some ETH beginning of the year and put them on a Trezor T last month. I never touched this account until two days ago. When I connected to the wallet, they ask me to install an update, which I did. When I connected to my wallet, the funds were gone and there were no transaction history.

It might be a firmware update problem that wiped out the key, I case I just have to start the recovery precess (I have my recovery seed phrase).

It might also be that there were no problem with the update and I just forgot my passphrase (oh boy, there’s always one…). The thing is that I don’t remember setting one up, but the option is activated, so I guess I did (not the sharpest tool in the shell, I know). Althought I don’t remember the exact passphrase, there can only be a few variations that I used. I tryed them but everytime it leads me to an empty wallet that’s never been used (no transaction history). The attempt also fails if I try not entering any passphrase. So my first question is do I risk something going for the recovery process now, wiping memory and all ? In other words, when I recover my wallet with my seed phrase, can I try different passphrases or do I only get one ?

My second question is about how the passphrase and hidden wallets work. When you set up a passphrase, they say “Your old accounts will be accessible with an empty passphrase”. The way I understand it is that if you don’t enter any passphrase, I would access my original account. This seems to be incorrect because, as mentionned in my post, when I connect with no passphrase, I get the same empty account (no transaction history, no funds).

Would you happen to know if, when I set up a passphrase for an account, does it create a NEW account (a “hidden” one, if I’m correct), or does the original becomes a hidden one, which can from now on only be accessed with the passphrase ?

For example, let’s say I have a freshly created account (A) with funds in it. If I set up a passphrase, which one of these is true :

  • a new account (B) is created with no funds in it. This new account B is accessible without the passphrase (not hidden). The original account A with funds becomes hidden, only accessible with the new passphrase, or,

  • a new account B is created. This new account is hidden and only accessible with the passphrase. The original account A stays accessible with no passphrase.

Or am I completely off ?

Thank you for taking some time to help, it means a lot to me. A lot is a stake for me, as you can imagine…

May the gods of crypto be with you always.

Hi @paulaellig,

First, about the Passphrase -

This scenario is true when you set up a Passphrase. We call a set of accounts like BTC, ETH, etc. for a wallet. So your original wallet, your Standard wallet, will always be accessible without a Passphrase, while a Hidden wallet will be created with a new, full, set of coin accounts (BTC, ETH, etc.). These new accounts will make their own unique Receive addresses too, when you want to receive coins to them. You can transfer coins between your Standard wallet and your Hidden wallet.

If you enter a wrong Passphrase then a new Hidden wallet will be created, so please make sure you enter your passphrase exactly as you created it in the first place, where upper and lower characters are different and space is also a character.

See an article about the Passphrase feature:

About the zero coins in your Standard wallet, after the update (I guess it was a Firmware update?), it may be that your last Firmware update wasn’t successful. It may also be because you used a Passphrase and enter a different passphrase, thereby opening a new wallet.

Please try to initiate Bootloader mode and update the firmware while connecting to Trezor Wallet https://wallet.trezor.io/#/ or the older Trezor Wallet https://old-wallet.trezor.io/ instead of through Trezor Suite.

Also, see this post, for Recovery of your wallet:

Note that if you used a Passphrase, you need that to be able to recover your Hidden wallet.

Also, be sure that you have the latest Trezor Bridge installed by checking if the program trezord is running in your PC, through Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Delete). If there is no trezord process, and you are getting no results on http://127.0.0.1:21325/status/, then Trezor Bridge is either not installed or doesn’t run properly. Reinstall it, available from https://wallet.trezor.io/#/bridge.