Sync windows time – Domain

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I am curious on how to sync all my workstations to me domain controller. I have read multiple sync-related articles on the net and I am becoming confused. I edited the registry on the DC in order to make it sync with some navy time clock instead of the windows time server. I then created a GPO for the workstations that contains the IP address of my DC to use for my workstations. How do I check to see if this is working? On the workstations, I issued the command 'net time' and it showed the UNC path to my DC, but when I issue the n'net time /querysntp' command it still shows the time.windows.com and not the IP address of my DC. Am I doing something wrong? J

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Domain member workstations from NT on up will time sync to the Primary Domain Controller in total disregard to whatever else you may want them to do.

In your environment, do the workstations show a time that matches your PDC emulator?

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  • Skepticals
    I think the time was only a min. off. I want them to all sync. It sounds like the workstations will do this on their own?
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  • Jmweber
    Pretty much, yes. When you say "only a minute off" I would guess that it took you a few seconds to view both machines time setting. I would not worry about 1 minute, that could be a display thing. from a cmd prompt: net time computername will tell you the time at each node.
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  • TracyP
    By default, the time service will automatically sync to the domain controller (or primary domain time source) UNLESS AN ALTERNATE SYNC PARTNER IS SPECIFIED. You said that when you type "net time /querysntp" you get a response showing time.windows.com . You need to clear this value by running the command "net time /setsnpt" on the workstation. This will set the time source to blank. Next, stop and start the time service to make the change take affect ("net time stop" then "net time start"). Now, if you run "net time /querysntp" you should get the following response: "This computer is not currently configured to use a specific SNTP server." Finally, if you check the Event Viewer - System Log on the workstation, you should see entries from source W32Time telling you who the workstation is syncing with.
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  • Skepticals
    Actually, the workstation and the domain controller are sitting next to each other; so the one min. time difference is accurate. You wanted me to manually change some settings on each workstation. Is there better way of doing this? I changed some settings in GPO and they do not seem to be working. Should I even bother with tryring to sync the clocks?
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  • TracyP
    I think it's important to sync the time on all computers in your network. Try using a script. Create a file named synctime.bat in the NetLogon directory with the "net time /setsntp" command. Next, edit the Group Policy - add the script to either the Computer Config:Windows Settings:Scripts:Startup or User Config:Windows Settings:Scripts:Logon .
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  • Jmweber
    I agree with TracyP on the importance of timesync. I think you can do all that is recommended from a GPO.
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  • Bladish
    It is most definitely important in a Windows Active Directory environment that all domain members be synchronized with the domain time source which is the PDC Emulator in the forest root domain. Failing to keep the domain members within 5 minutes of your DC(s) will cause authentication to fail and deny logon and resource access. Are you running a Windows 2000 or 2003 Active Directory domain? Which OS are your domain members running (2000, XP, etc)?
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  • Skepticals
    I am running Windows Server 2003 RC2 w/Active Directory. My clients are running Windows XP SP2. I would prefer setting the sync properties using Group Policy and not a script file. I have already set properties in GPO and linked it to the OU, but when I run the command net time /querysmtp on the clients it returns the time.windows.com and not the IP address of my Domain Controller as I put into the Group Policy. Any ideas?
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  • TracyP
    Forgive me for being blunt --- but your recent replies make me think that you are looking for a magic wand that will erase the problem that exists, and replace it with the right answer, with no effort on your part. You do have a problem in your network - I know, because I hAve had the same problem. I can tell you that creating a starup/login script is EASY... much easier than going to every workstation and manually changing the SMTP setting... and the SMTP setting is your root problem. Once that setting is right on the workstations, everything works "as advertised" by Microsoft. So - what's holding you up? You could create a startup/login script faster than you can read this email...
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  • Skepticals
    TracyP, Settle down. I was not looking for a 'mgic wand'. My goal was to make the time sync using GPO; so when I followed, what I thoughts to be the correct steps, and it did not work I wanted to figure solve that probem. I know there are more than one way to solve it, I just wanted it to work using GPO. Sorry that I have upset your impatience. I didn't want to bail on the first idea and move on to a script.
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  • issmCBK
    Skepticals: Did you find a way to use GPO to sync time on all your workstations with your DC?
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