Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Windows 2008 and time Sync W32time

After migrating domain controllers on ESX environment (-:, ps: I have tried to convince for hyperV but did not worked out in this one.) we saw time on the domain controllers were off and made some adjustment to make PDC happy. I wanted to share here what we have done to fix the issue.

if you are not familiar with time service on the PDC emulator I recommend start reading it from Ace Fekay’s  blog  ( AD MVP ) excellent & well written article.

My issue started as “outlook is sending e-mails , 6hr behind the current time”

I think in the process of thinking locally, Outlook is a software installed on a workstation OS ( winXP, Vista, Win7 etc) and it reads time from OS itself

Workstation OS ( client PC’s)  is talking to domain controller they authenticated against. The domain controllers gets their time (Sync) from PDC emulator ( domain controller holds the PDC emulator role) and finally PDC gets ( should configured to external time source) its time from external time source.

  • Outlook----sync------> Work Station OS----sync----->DC
  • DC----sync--------> PDC
  • PDC-------sync------>External Time source.

Ok now back to the issue, how to configure PDC to sync its time from external time server? here is everything you need to know or do to make it work, KB816042

After you make this changes the PDC register will like this

W32Time configures the list of time sources through the following key

  • SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet
  • Services
  • W32Time
  • Parameters
  • NtpServer,0x01,0x01


Click here to download reg file which will do this for you automatically


Flag means

windows time service blog

0x01 SpecialInterval
0x02 UseAsFallbackOnly
0x03 SymmatricActive
0x04 Client

For troubleshooting only

Debug log file timelog.txt to be written locally as the Windows Time service interacts with the system

w32tm /debug /enable /file:C:logstimelog.txt /size:100000 /entries:0-300

Stop the debug

w32tm /debug /disable

To see what time server your PDC is talking too (vmdc01 is the name of the PDC in this example change it accordingly

net time \\PDCname /QuerySNMP


After making changes to stop and re-start the W32Time

net stop w32time && net start w32time

if you are getting fallowing your DC’s are not replicating


There is a time difference between the Client and Server , The DC time might be off more than 5 min which will make the replication wont work properly.


Oz Casey , Dedeal


MCSE 2003, M+, S+, MCDST

Security+, Project +, Server +

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1 comment:

Vasant Sakpal said...

Is there any handy tool for set NTP settings on DC instead of commands.