Virtual Server 2005 time drift

Posted on 2005-05-13
Last Modified: 2009-05-20
I have 3 XP Pro workstations running Virtual Server 2005 with 3 DCs (1 Ops Master + 2 GCs), 1 VPN, 1 WWW, 1 DB, 1 Exchange.  All the virtual servers are Windows 2003 and part of a domain (the entire domain is the 7 virtual servers and the 3 workstations).  I have all 3 DCs set to use for their SNTP servers, but for some reason all the servers seem to be drifting backwards towards -10 minutes.  This wouldn't be a major problem except Active Directory requires a time difference of less than 5 minutes between machines.  I'm sure that the workstations, VPN, WWW, DB, and Exchange boxes are drifting backwards because of the 3 DCs drifting, how can I fix this?  I thought using net time / would fix it, but it doesn't.  Since the 3 workstations are drifting back as well using the Virtual Server host-to-guest time sync won't help.  What can I do?
Question by:SkipFire
    LVL 74

    Accepted Solution

    I've had similar issues and was able to resolve it by diabling the Host time synchronization feature.  This is a quote from

    "For virtual machines that are configured as domain controllers, the Host time synchronization feature of Virtual Machine Additions should always be disabled. Instead, accept the default W32time domain hierarchy time synchronization.

    The Host time synchronization feature allows guest operating systems to synchronize their system clocks with the system clock of the host operating system. Because domain controllers have their own time synchronization mechanism, Host time synchronization must be disabled on virtual machines that are configured as domain controllers. If domain controllers synchronize time from their own source and also synchronize time from the host, the domain controller time can change frequently.

    Use the Administration Website to disable Host time synchronization when the virtual machine is turned off. You can disable Host time synchronization during or after installing Virtual Machine Additions.
    For information about how to use the Administration Website, see the “Virtual Server 2005 Administrator’s Guide” on the Web at"

    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    As I stated rather indirectly the guest-host time sync feature already is disabled.
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    2003 time set up seems to have gone back to the crappy Windows NT version. Post the settings for the w32time registry entry and we'll have a look. I've actually stuck NTPTIME ( on my 2003 servers 'cos they don't seem to want to play ball like my 2000 servers do.
    LVL 74

    Expert Comment

    by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
    One thing you may want to try, which could help you in troubleshooting your synch issues is a 3rd party time app (  You can download and try for free and it will provide you with stats of how often it adjusts the clocks.


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