What's in a name

Description: Before you have that recurring nightmare about sophomore English class, let's clarify which "name" we're talking about and how you can create a problem for yourself that almost defies troubleshooting.

One of our customers had a network in their business. The main PC needed to be brought into the shop and, long story short, reloaded with Windows. When the customer took the main PC back to his place of business, it could see all of the shared files on the other PCs but the other PCs could not connect to the main PC.

Check the settings, check the firewall, confirm the password, etc., etc., etc. Everything looked perfect.

On our in-store test network, our PC could not connect and our iMac "shook" its login screen as if the credentials were wrong.

As it turns out, they were both correct and wrong at the same time.

When the system was reloaded, we created the default user of Owner. The customer loaded his files into the Owner account and then renamed the account to match what it had been before the PC was serviced.

So while we could log in locally, we were unable to log in across the network UNLESS we used "Owner" as the username.

The iMac provided the best hint that led to this discovery as it was "shaking" to indicate incorrect username/password - and yes, our PC said the same, but for two different operating systems to "fail" in the same way was a substantial clue.

So what's in a name? File access permissions.

Easy problem that took 2 hours to solve, but without a solution would have shut the customer's business down for the next week (his words, not mine).

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