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JSI Tip 2466. Time sources for the Windows NT Time Service.

Before you install the Time Service on Windows NT, you must understand the 3 types of time sources available:

Top Level Time Source is an accurate time source, such as an atomic clock. The Timeserv.ini file lists a number of sources, NISTACTS, USNO, NTP, etc...

Primary Source computers get their time from a Top Level Time Source and are primary time sources for other computers on your LAN. The Timeserv.ini should have a Type= entry set to one of the Top Level Time Sources:


Secondary Source computers have their Type= entry set to Primary and the PrimarySource= line set to one or more Primary Source computers, separated by semicolons:


You must also set TimeSource=YES

Client computers running Windows NT can get their time from either a primary or secondary source. If the clients is to get it's time from a Primary Source,then their Timeserv.ini should contain:


If the Windows NT client is to use a Secondary Source, then set:


This causes the client to find a server, in their domain or workgroup. with the timesource bit set. You can specify a secondary domain:

    SecondaryDomain="Place the workgroup or domain name here."

If your client is not running the time service, using:


without any parameters finds a server in your domain/workgroup with the timesource bit set or

NET TIME /DOMAIN:DOMAINNAME will emulate the SecondaryDomain function.

Finally, you can issue:


See tip 0879 and links.

NOTE: The Time Service requires that browsing properly function on your LAN.

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