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Confinguring network time on a windows 2003 server domain controller running active directory

mstdinc asked
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I am seeking help with configuring my domain controller to use network time to insure more accurate times across the domain.

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Do you want your server configured to get time from an outside source?  Or do you mean the workstations getting time from the server, or setting the other servers to look at a specific server?
Run this in a command prompt on your PDC emulator...I am assuming that you want your main DC to get time from the outside???

On your PDC Emulator, set a external Time reference ("net time /setsntp:time.microsoft.com").


I would like my domain controller to acquire time from an outside source.

Also, when you say "run this in a command prompt on your PDC emulator" what is a "PDC emulator"?

Also, what are the risks of using an external time server and which time servers are the most reliable and safest?
Ron MalmsteadInformation Services Manager


Type this in command line...

>net time /querysntp

It will output the current settings.....showing you what server it is currently syncronizing with.

I would not use microsoft's time servers....they are totally unreliable.

Instead....Use the military time servers....VERY reliable.

>net time /setsntp:tick.usno.navy.mil,tock.usno.navy.mil

Now you can set every other computer in your network to sync with the domain controller...

You can do this remotely from the server using a batch file, or from a logon script....

Remote Command>net time \\%computername% /setsntp:%servername%       (can substitute IP for Computername)
Logon Script> net time \\%servername% /set /y
>net time /setsntp:%servername%

you should use multiple time servers....in case one goes down...

just use a comma in between them when running the command.

e.g. ...   net time /setsntp:pool.ntp.org,tick.usno.navy.mil
This one is on us!
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okay, so if i type:

net time /setsntp:tick.usno.navy.mil,tock.usno.navy.mil

I will have esentially set my domain controller to sync with tick.usno.navy.mil's time?

Is that a one time deal or did I just configure it to update weekly/daily/hourly with tick?
one time deal....


well, what the hell good is that?

is there a way to have it update on any regular interval?

aside from writing a bat script and running it with windows scheduler?
It is timed already within the server.  It will go get the time from the location, and the workstations get time from the PDC.  Everything is accurate to nuclear clock time.


i asked at 2:29 pm est, "is that a one time deal or did i just configure it to update weekly/daily/hourly."

meaning... how often will the domain controller check it's time with tick.usno.navy.mil for accuracy?

you answered, "once".

That's not what I want.  I want to configue the domain controller once so that it retrieves the time daily at midnight from tick.usno.navy.mil.

is that possible?
Oh..I see....sorry....I thought you meant how often do you have to type in the command.  The server will do it on its own every so many hours.  If you want a definite amount of time, or you want to set the exact update times...let me know...otherwise it will do it on regular intervals without you interfering.


just because I'm curious to know, yes how do you set exact update times?  Also, when the domain controller is restarts will I have to set the time server again?

Also, how does the "net time /setsntp:server.domain" command compare with the "w32tm" command?

which is better/prefered?

btw, i appriciate all the help.
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