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System Clock loses time!

Posted on 2001-07-14
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Win2K Advanced Server. The System time continues to run slow.  I have configured the system to use NTP and have programmed the NTP servers.  Approximately every 48 minutes (defualt for NTP query) the time is accurate, then it loses time  of about 20-24 minutes between samples.
Yes, I can run w32tm more often, but that doesn't fix the problem.  
Net Time/setsntp command issues successfully.
Stop/Start Windows time service, and time is accurate.  then it loses time which can be seen viewing the date/time clock.  The second hand moves slow.

Run w32tm -v -once to verify operation and same thing, time is good untl next sample.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Question by:margosd
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 6282889
Are you runing a lot of services on this machine ??

Have you checked all the background processes ?

In addition Cleanup the startup stuff.
Download the Startup COP a free pcmag utility from
           http://www.zdnet.com/pcmag/pctech/content/18/08/ut1808.001.html
 Run it and it will show you everything that is listed in all the possible startup
                        places, and allow you to disable things one at a time until the problem is eliminated.
 A lot of probelms are caused by excess old baggage - programs that have not been properly  un-installed. Startup Cop will eliminate leftovers and un-wanted programs that you no longer want.
Older Antivirus programs and Norton Utilities have been known to cause problems
try disabling them also !

I hope this helps !
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by:SysExpert
ID: 6282901
ALso - get the newest drivers for your hardware !

HAve you installed SP2 yet ?

I hope this helps !
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Author Comment

by:margosd
ID: 6282943
Thanks for the thoguhts. Since nothing on MS site on SP2 fixing anything like this, I'm not in a hurry to install.  We'll get to it, but not yet.  
Yes, NAV is running, and yes there are many services running.  Heck, its a server.  Again, thanks for the suggestions.
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by:SysExpert
ID: 6283001
Check using performance monitor for anything that appears to be taxing CPU or interrupts or anything out of the ordinary.

Good Luck !
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Expert Comment

by:tituba2
ID: 6286037
What about the battery on the motherboard?
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by:margosd
ID: 6286062
Compaq has checked it and "they" are satisfied with it.  I'm not sure I understand how the motherboard battery comes into play after the system is up and running and NTP has sychronized it, but it was checked anyway....
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by:YingAtt
ID: 6286966
Could well be a bad motherboard.  If it is under warranty, insist that Compaq replace it.  Some software will slow the clock (systemically, the use of certain interrupts can result in lost clock cycles), but not to the magnitude you've described.
Good luck!
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by:tituba2
ID: 6286994
I had an IBM laptop that was running W2k Pro and doing the same thing.  The fix for it was a BIOS flash.  May not be the same situation with the Compaq.
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by:YingAtt
ID: 6287022
I agree with Tituba2 -- make sure you have the latest BIOS.  If not, then suspect the MB.
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by:margosd
ID: 6287096
You guys all have got some great info.  Need to make clear, I am seeing this on multiple systems.
Now, I've recently discovered something in the past 2hours.  I noticed that I had a service stuck in starting mode.  "Network Time Protocol".  First, I haven't a clue why it is even actviated as I don't want to be a time server to anything else from these machines.  I have set the service to manual on one of the machines (they are in productions o downtime is rare) and I have rebooted.  The machine I'm working with has kept perfect time for the last 120' or so.  I'll know moe tomorrow when we reboot machine 2......Again, thanks for all of the advise....
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by:YingAtt
ID: 6287130
Ok, that changes the picture somewhat.  Are you running AD?  As you probably know, kerberos depends on accurate time syncs (by default, kerberos starts breaking when machines are more than 5 minutes out of sync).  Also by default (in AD), the 1st DC is the authoritative time source -- every other DC will look to it and every client will look to the authenticating DC.
 
What are you using for a time source, and could the time source be bad?
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Author Comment

by:margosd
ID: 6287291
Using xntpd on an Unix system.  Same as the others.  It is the 3 out 6 randomness that bothers me most.
No, we are not running AD ( I assume you mean Active Dirctory).

Right now, I'm leaning towards the "starting" NTP service which shouldn't have been enabled in the first place.  If I mantain time overnigth on system 1 and reboot system 2 tomorrow A.M., I'll have some better datapoints, but not neccessarily the answer...
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margosd earned 0 total points
ID: 6289500
After setting the Network Time Protocol service to manual and rebooting, my 2 tst systems have now maintained perfect time for the past 12-16 hours.  I suspect that the 2 services , network time protocol and windows time services were competing with each other.  It is the best guess I have.  Not sure, who or why the NTP service was started which is what took me so long to find it.....Thanks for all of the attempts to help me....Dave
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by:YingAtt
ID: 6289879
Great - good to see you've fixed it (apparently).
Best of luck.
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by:netwiz562
ID: 9300778
---- CLEAN UP ----

margosd,
No comment has been added lately (781 days), so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area for this question:

RECOMMENDATION: [ PAQ/Refund ]

Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.

¡PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!

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Rajiv Makhijani
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