W2K Time Synchronization Service

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

If your background is Windows NT administration, you are familiar with Windows NT Date and Time Synchronization. It is a fairly manual process. You designate a time server for the NT domain, see Setup Domain Time Source Server . Then you embed the


command in user's login scripts to sychronize workstation date and time with the NT server designated as a time source.

Windows 2000 automates the process. It is no longer manual. This is one of many issues where Windows 2000 has improved over Windows NT. Because of Kerberos, all W2K workstations and services must have synchronized times. The synchronization is built into the authenication process. See Basic Operation of the Windows Time Service. The Windows Time Synchronization service, W32Time, is a fully compliant implementation of the Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP) as detailed in IETF RFC1769. In general, the PDC emulator for the W2K domain is the authoritative time source. Workstations and servers will date and time synch to it. You can check it periodically and adjust, but most PCs have clocks that lose time. If you can, you need to use the sntp functionality of W2K. On the PDC, run the following command:

net time /setsntp: ntp2.usno.navy.mil


net time /setsntp:

This will synchronize the PDC's date and time with the US Navy's internet-available sntp time source. And no, the /setsntp parm is not available to Windows NT since its date and time service is not sntp compliant.

Related time server tips:

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