net time query - multiple errors

Posted on 2006-05-22
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I started to get some W32time errors in the event logs of some of my servers.  This caused me to look into some sync problems that are happening on my network.  For example, running net time on my computer produces these results:

C:\>net time
Current time at \\SERVER2 is 5/22/2006 8:28 AM

Local time (GMT-04:00) at \\SERVER2 is 5/22/2006 11:28 AM

The command completed successfully.

Server2 is domain controller not holding any fsmo roles, at the local site.  This made sense to me, but even computers at the other site (where the PDC emulator is on the same subnet) produce this same result.

Moving on,

C:\net time /query
The current SNTP value is: SERVER1.domain.local

The command completed successfully.

Again, Server1 is on another subnet, and holds all fsmo roles.

C:\net time /set
Current time at \\SERVER3 is 5/22/2006 8:35 AM

Local Time (GMT-04:00) at \\SERVER3 is 5/22/2006 11:35 AM

The current local clock us 5/22/2006 8:35 AM
Do you want to set the local computer's time to match the
time ar \\SERVER3 (Y/N) [Y]: y
The command completed successfully.

It looks like it is getting time info from three different servers, but everything I have read tells me that it should be syncing with the PDC emulator (SERVER2).  Does anyone have an idea what might be happening here?  Is it anything to worry about?  At this point it is just throwing errors in the event logs and not causing any actual problems, but I know that time synchronization is important for AD so I want to get this cleared up.

Question by:bwalker1
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    LVL 33

    Accepted Solution

    W32Time synchronizes clocks within a forest using a time hierarchy that begins with the PDC Emulator in the forest root domain, which is considered the stratum 2 time source for the forest. This domain controller can have its own clock controlled several ways:

    By synching to a reliable time server on the Internet. By synching to an locally-connected hardware time source such as an atomic clock. By relying on its own internal CMOS clock for reliable time.In the first two examples above, the Internet time server or atomic clock is considered a stratum 1 time source. Other domain controllers in the forest root domain and PDC Emulators in child domains use W32Time to poll the PDC Emulator in the forest root domain periodically to ensure their clocks remain synchronized. Workstations and member servers then poll domain controllers in their domains to synchronize their own clocks, with the result being that all computers in the forest synchronize their clocks, either directly or indirectly, with the PDC Emulator in the forest root domain (and hence the external time server or atomic clock, if present). The following table summarizes how the W32Time hierarchy works, starting from the external source.

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