Learn how to a build a cloud-first strategyRegister Now

x
  • Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 1576
  • Last Modified:

Workstations not syncing time with server

In my office we have a server running SBS 2003 and workstations running XP Pro.  For some reason the workstations are not keeping time with the server.  My PC consistenly runs about 6 minutes fast.  How do I get the workstations to sync with the server?

Mark
0
msibley
Asked:
msibley
  • 9
  • 5
  • 2
  • +2
4 Solutions
 
ZadkinCommented:
By making the computers part of the domain.
Microsoft says: When the computers belong to an family Active Directory domain, Windows Time Service configures itself automatically, using Windows Time Service that is available on domain controllers.
0
 
breynolds01Commented:
Here are a couple of articles that will help.

Configuring the Windows Time Service
http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Configuring-Windows-Time-Service.html

How to configure an authoritative time server in Windows 2000
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;216734

Also make sure you have the Windows Time Service is started on the SBS 2003.
0
 
mattridingsCommented:
Anyone else notice that SBS 2003 is really flaky about keeping time sync'd across the domain (and keeping itself sync'd to outside time server)?  You can manually sync the server from the command line or through the date/time gui without issue...it's immediate...but the supposed scheduled updates fail about 25% of the time for some reason.  Doesn't seem to matter what time server is selected.

We had started adding manual time sync's to the client login scripts on our sbs domains because of this.

But you might try applying (or insuring it's already been applied) this related hotfix first to see if it resolves your issue:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/830092/en-us?FR=1&PA=1&SD=HSCH



Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting
0
Industry Leaders: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

 
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
As far as I've seen, SBS 2003 is only flakey about keeping time synched across the domain if the workstations were not added to the domain correctly using http://<servername>/connectcomputer.

Jeff
TechSoEasy

0
 
mattridingsCommented:
Guess it's just a problem in the midwest then ;)  Must be the humidity

Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting
0
 
breynolds01Commented:
I agree with Matt, I had the same issue on two SBS 2003 servers.  We created time sync scripts for login, then manually configured the server to time sync manually using the net time command in dos to set the SNTP serve.  

1.  If your unsure how to do this open a command prompt
2.  Type "net time /?" with out the quotes
3.  Follow the instructions

Here is another article that explains how to do this and includes screen shots.

http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/nettime.html

Bryan Reynolds
Aardvark Technical Consulting
0
 
msibleyAuthor Commented:
So, in the active dir of the server, should I remove the workstation and then add it back?

Mark
0
 
mattridingsCommented:
I'd start with this first , run from a command prompt on the pc:

w32tm /resync /rediscover

Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting
0
 
mattridingsCommented:
If that succeeds run:

w32tm /config /update /syncromflags:DOMHIER

Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting
0
 
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Y'know... now that I've been thinking about this, there have been some synch issues on various networks.  

The command to run is "net time /set \\<servername> /y"

It can easily be added to the SBS_LOGIN_SCRIPT.bat file found in the \\<SERVERNAME>\NETLOGON share.   Once it's had a chance to run on all workstations it can be commented out of the batch file so that it can be used if needed again.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
0
 
mattridingsCommented:
If you write a script for the network then definitely use NET TIME as it's much more compatible across platforms.  I prefer directly manipulated the w32tm service if on XP though.  Since he was on XP that's what I chose.

Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting
0
 
mattridingsCommented:
Note spelling error in previous post, should have been /syncfromflags

Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting
0
 
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Yeah, but if his PC is off, and there are 20 other workstations on the network that could be off... then this is a better way to go.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
0
 
mattridingsCommented:
Isn't that what I said?

Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting
0
 
mattridingsCommented:
Found a much better article on this than what we are offering you:

Mariƫtte Knap
How To Fix Time Synchronization Errors
http://www.smallbizserver.net/Default.aspx?tabid=266&articleType=ArticleView&articleId=71

Please use that link for the whole article, and give the author the benefit of being seen in their preferred context.  In addition it addresses how to configure ISA if you are using it.  Here's a quick excerpt:

----Begin Quote----
Configure the w32tm service in Client Mode

Actually in PDC, NtpServer/Enabled=1, it sends out requests in Symmetric Active mode; while in standalone, NtpServer/Enabled=0, it is Client mode. Here we should configure the SBS 2003 server to send out time sync requests in Client Mode. To set the PDC to request it's time in client mode, please open a command prompt and run the following 4 commands:

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:time.nist.gov,0x8 /syncfromflags:MANUAL
net stop w32time
net start w32time
w32tm /resync

Here we should use the "0x8" flag which sets the SBS server in Client Mode. These are the valid settings:

0x01 use special poll interval SpecialInterval
0x02 UseAsFallbackOnly
0x04 send request as SymmatricActive mode
0x08 send request as Client mode


To make sure that the clients are time syncing with the server, issue these 2 commands from the command prompt once:

net time /setsntp:servername
w32tm /resync   (for XP)
w32tm -once -v  (for W2k)
----End Quote----

Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting
0
 
mattridingsCommented:
For clarification purposes between Jeff and my different preferences regarding the use of Net Time vs w32tm.

As this is a SBS forum I always assume that we are talking about networks that only have Win 2000 or later and give my answer as such.  My *preference* in that environment is w32tm, namely because it's so much more accurate and doesn't depend on the old SMB based time that was so horrid.  I tend to like things as accurate as possible in my networks because you can run into kerberos authentication issues logging in if it gets out of skew.  That said I know people like Jeff who still us NET TIME in their networks with no issues whatsoever, so I call it a 'preference'.

The caveat that I mentioned though is if you are running a mixed environment of older machines (I guess I have to assume we're not talking SBS in this environment but I suppose all sorts come across this forum) that earlier OS's don't have the ability to use w32tm (although I think a version was released at some point for NT?  not sure about that) so writing a *global* script for all computers to use would need to include some form of NET TIME.  Personally I'd check the OS version and use both, but as I said..that's my 'preference'

Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting
0
 
ZadkinCommented:
> So, in the active dir of the server, should I remove the workstation and then add it back?

To anwer that I can only quote Jeff,  as I have no experience with it:

If you did not originally connect your workstations to the SBS network using the http://<servername>/connectcomputer method, you really should fix that.  You'll need to do the following in order to accomplish this:

The following needs to be done with the client machine:
1.  Log in with THAT machine's LOCAL administrator account.
2.  Unjoin the domain into a WORKGROUP
3.  Change the name of the computer
4.  Delete or rename the following directory C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business Server\Clients
5.  Ensure that the network configuration is set to allow for automatic IP Address and DNS Server IP's (DHCP enabled)
6.  Reboot

Then on the server, from the Server Management Console:
1.  Remove the client computers if it still shows in the Client Computer screen on the Server Management Console
2.  Add the client with it's NEW name using the Add Computer wizard

Then, go back to the client machine and join the domain by opening Internet Explorer and navigating to http://servername/connectcomputer
0
 
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
My thoughts exactly!  (If, in fact, the workstations weren't connected properly).

Jeff
TechSoEasy
0
 
msibleyAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the many ideas!

I went into Active Directory and deleted the computer.  Then logged on to the PC--had to log on locally since the domain didn't recognize the computer--and ran the Network Identification Wizard and joined the PC to the domain.  Rebooted and the PC time is now synced with the server.

I raised the points and divided them up among you.

Mark
0
 
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Um... you didn't follow the steps outlined above???  I must tell you that NOT using the connectcomputer method will ultimately lead to further problems on your workstations and will not allow you to centrally manage your network in the way that SBS is designed.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
0

Featured Post

Industry Leaders: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

  • 9
  • 5
  • 2
  • +2
Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now