I tried this:
<input type= "hidden" name="liveagent.prechat.findorcreate.linkToEntity:Contact" value="Case,ContactId" />
but still the account name field on case was blank. Any ideas?
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The syntax you have for setting the Contact on the Case is correct.
It works for me when I do it with the sample I outlined in this article. The Contact must exist already, though. If you are creating a new one, the Account will not be created.
If the Contact does already exist in the org...
Is the Contact standard field getting created on the Case? If not, then that is the issue. To troubleshoot that, reduce your form to the least you can for finding the Contact and get that to work. Then link it on the Case and get that to work. A common issue is that required fields are missing or a validation rule is failing on the Contact, which will cause it to not be created. Note that the Case will still be created as long as it is valid, and the Contact field will just be blank.
If the Contact is getting created on the Case and you still don't see the standard Account field being populated...