Been doing PCs and Windows since they started. Been doing unices and other OSs too, and this is an odd one.

My machine suddenly stopped seeing shares to other machines on the house network. My response was to go slogging through network permissions, sharing enables, and so on.

It took a while, but I found that (I think...) sharing stopped because my user account name suddenly became "User", invalidating the user and password credentials when I access other machines on the net. The other machines on the net are unaffected. They talk to each other just fine.

But this machine now shows the filter that used to be "\Users\bobby" is now "\Users\User". The folder "\bobby" appeared on the desktop at about the same time. The contents of \bobby on the desktop appear to match the contents of \Users\User. When I get into user accounts in the control panel, only the "bobby" account appears to change. Moreover, getting to account properties through system management says that the account (short?) name is "User" but the account full name is "bobby". There is no "User" account to modify.

When I restart, the only user name presented is "bobby" and this accepts the expected password.

I have no clue how the system is operating with "User" as an alias for "bobby", logging in as "bobby", but not having a \User\bobby folder nor having \\Acme\bobby credentials for network shares. Or how it got that way - and I'm not only enlightened about user account management, but have done it for a long time in various ways.

Did I have a Windows internal subtle disaster? Or did I touch a lever that I didn't know was there?

I was tempted to try either changing the user name "User" to "bobby" or to migrate all the data/files to a new user and trashing the old "User". But I hesitate to do that when there is a good fraction of a terabyte to worry about existing. It's backed up, of course, at least to the point where sharing stopped with the backup server, but still, I hate to do a flush and restore of the whole machine. That usually eats up from one to three days.

What gives? I'm about four hours into network research and turned up nothing.