Synchronizing time on a Windows 2003 domain controller

In a Windows domain environment its incredibly important that all clients & servers share the correct time. Its also important that this time is correct, otherwise your users go home early.

Here we’ll set your domain controller to get the time via NTP. Windows clients will then automatically collect the right time from their domain controller.

More than one domain controller? Just follow the steps below on each domain controller so they point to your main domain controller or get their time independently from the same source.

Got Linux clients? No problem, use ntpdate.

ntpdate <domain controller>

Setting up the domain controller. (Make sure it can get out via NTP through your firewall). Open a command prompt

net stop w32time

At this point, I like to change the time on the server so we can see this in action.

Now we can define an NTP authoritative time server

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:time.windows.com,0x8 /syncfromflags:MANUAL

Restart the W32Time service

net start w32time

Now you should see the time change to the correct time and an event will appear in the Event Log.

For more information, see How the Windows Time Service Works from Microsoft.

Author: Kieran Barnes

Kieran is a PHP developer with 15 years commercial experience. Specialist in WordPress, CakePHP, CubeCart and all things PHP.

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