JSI Tip 8266. How do I configure the Windows Time service on the Windows Server 2003 forest root PDC emulator?

In Windows 2000, we used How do I configure an authoritative time server in Windows 2000
or How do I make my PDC emulator an authoritative time server for my domain without it synchronizing with a reliable time source?

In Windows Server 2003, if a reliable external time source is available, use:

w32tm /config /syncfromflags:manual /manualpeerlist:<PeerList>
w32tm /config /update

Where <PeerList> is a comma-separated list of DNS name time sources, or IP addresses.

NOTE: See How do I configure the Windows 2000 time service to log when time is adjusted?

NOTE: While the default domain hierarchy synchronization is typically sufficiently accurate, you should consider synchronizing each child domain's PDC emulator with an external time source.

NOTE: If you configure the PDC emulator to synchronize with itself, the event descriptions like the following will be logged in the Application event log:

The time provider NtpClient cannot reach or is currently receiving invalid time dat a from (ntp.m|0x0|>

No response has been received from Manual peer after 8 attempts to contact it. This peer will be discarded as a time source and NtpClient will attempt to discover a new peer from which to synchronize.

The time provider NtpClient is configured to acquire time from one or more time sources, however none of the sources are currently accessible. No attempt to contact a source will be made for 960 minutes. NtpClient has no source of accurate time.

If an external reliable time source is NOT available, configure the forest root PDC emulator to use its' own CMOS clock:

1. Copy / Paste the following into Notepad.exe:



2. Save the file as NoSync.txt.

3. Rename the NoSync.txt file as NoSync.reg

4. On the PDC emulator, right-click the NoSync.reg file and press Merge, or run regedit /s NoSync.reg.

The following event description will be logged in the Application event log to remind you to use an external time source:

Time Provider NtpClient: This machine is configured to use the domain hierarchy to determine its time source, but it is the PDC emulator for the domain at the root of the forest, so there is no machine above it in the domain hierarchy to use as a time source. It is recommended that you either configure a reliable time service in the root domain, or manually configure the PDC to synchronize with an external time source. Otherwise, this machine will function as the authoritative time source in the domain hierarchy. If an external time source is not configured or used for this computer, you may choose to disable the NtpClient.

NOTE: The most common problems that affect the Windows Time Service are:

  • A dead gateway.
  • Other TCP/IP problems.
  • Name resolution problems.
  • Network congestion.
  • An attempt to synchronize with inaccurate time sources.

NOTE: For network troubleshooting, use Netdiag.exe from the Windows Server 2003 Support Tools on the CD-ROM.

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