NTP won't sync

Windows Server 2000 network:

I have verified the NTP servers our domain is synching with. We use the University of Minnesota NTP servers. I have tested their connections with "NTP Query Tool" (free tool) and it seems like it should be working just fine. BUT my network time is consistently 3 minutes and some 20 seconds off +/-. Any ideas?
bubba_1234Asked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

tim1731Commented:
What happens when you stop and restart the time service (in the event log)
bubba_1234Author Commented:
It says it has successfully stopped and started. It pretty much acts like everything is working correctly. It just is off by 3 minutes +. Also, I have waited the 15-45 minutes for the server to "catch up" with the actual time. I have given it days, weeks and it won't catch up those 3 minutes. I have stopped the services, restarted, changed to different NTP servers (after allowing them on the firewall). I will dig up my notes so I can tell you what I've tried. It is very wierd. I will try again and review the event log specifically.
MazaraatCommented:
Are you running a windows domain?  If so is your DC the one that sync's the time? If this is a windows domain, all of your PC's should be synced automatically to your DC, so they problem would have to originate from the DC.  

Here is a freeware utility to update your DC, as long as your Dc stays synced, it should keep your PC's synced also.
Rowby Goren Makes an Impact on Screen and Online

Learn about longtime user Rowby Goren and his great contributions to the site. We explore his method for posing questions that are likely to yield a solution, and take a look at how his career transformed from a Hollywood writer to a website entrepreneur.

MazaraatCommented:
grrrr...forgot link

http://ravib.com/timesync/

There are several other free time sync utilities...

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
bubba_1234Author Commented:
Yes, it is a Windows domain (see first post). The problem is that the DC is not synching with the NTP servers. The client machines seem to be synching with the DC just fine. So Mazaraat, you are suggesting I try this utility on the DC? Hmm. I would still like to know why the DC won't sync with the outside world.
MazaraatCommented:
Could be your router, firewall or proxy server messing with the traffic...I had a similar situation at a location and simply installed one of the freeware utilites on the DC configured it and -->problem solved.  Just be sure its adware free...there are also many good programs that cost $$.
bubba_1234Author Commented:
O.K. I will try the freeware and see if it works. Thanks!
Let me get back to you on the points after I see if it works
MazaraatCommented:
notta problem, good luck !

I just can't see wasting good $$ when there is a free program that does the same thing =)
Steve JenningsSr Manager Cloud Networking OpsCommented:
I use automachron (http://oneguycoding.com/) and I've never had problems like what you are describing. However, I've used lots of *nix tools that had ALL SORTS of problems with slewing. One of them would never correct the clocks if there was more than 150 seconds of difference. You had to actually manually set the clock to be closer that 150 seconds of difference and then run the program. Automachron also has a 'force sync' option that will set the clock backward or forward without regard to difference. You said off + -, are you saying that it drifts forward and then drifts backward . . . passing through the correct time? How often does your NTP client check the time?

Good luck,
Steve
bubba_1234Author Commented:
Steve,
I guess I'm saying +/- because I have not looked at the exact minutes and seconds. Example, I think it's 3 minutes and 20 seconds but i could be off by a few seconds. It doesn't vary as far as I know. ALTHOUGH now that I think about it, when I first stopped and started the NTP service the clock was off by some 6 minutes! Then it halved as one would expect and then it just stopped with it's "catching up" procedure ie, half the minutes every 15 to 45 minutes until completely synched. Maybe that's why there is the 3 minutes? It doesn't think 3 minutes is a problem?
Steve JenningsSr Manager Cloud Networking OpsCommented:
What happens when you manually set the clock closer than three minutes? Does it drift forward or backward? Really . . . you should check out some other free software to sync time and see if the problem persists. I'm guessing you are using w2k client, is that right?

Good luck,
Steve
bubba_1234Author Commented:
I manually set it correctly yesterday afternoon on the DC, resynched my XP client machine (I have both 2000 and XP machines in here) is only off by 3 seconds. All other machines I looked at were correct this morning, off by 3 seconds. 3 seconds is o.k. by me. I guess maybe I just have to go in a manually help out the DC once in a while.
Steve JenningsSr Manager Cloud Networking OpsCommented:
Without knowing what client you are using, it's difficult to say. Some ntp clients let you set a granularity  . . . as much as 3 minutes . . . that you want to use, meaning you will never get closer or further away from true time than 3 minutes. Some let you set the slew rate, the rate that the clock adjusts, variably. In other words if I'm 10 minutes apart, jump quickly toward 3 minutes, then move slowly for the last 3 minutes.

We do billing for telephone calls. I can't let any of my systems jump ahead or fall back more than about a second a day. . . otherwise, somebody with LOTS of time on his hands will notice that the phone call he clocked as a 2 minute call shows up as a 2 minute and 1 second call and he'll call customer service and complain. So it would take me a month to make up a minute . . . if I ever let it get that far behind.

Good luck,
Steve
bubba_1234Author Commented:
Steve, ha! yes, I'm sure someone will figure it the minute difference out and slack. Amazing how some users will find every little crack in the armor and exploit it..
NTP is hard to track down the problem. But a good learning experience. Do you guys mind if I split up some points for you? I am not sure how to do it but I will try.
Steve JenningsSr Manager Cloud Networking OpsCommented:
OK by me . . . it's tough to support my crack habit with points from this forum, but I'll do my best with what you give me.
MazaraatCommented:
np, btw if you install one of the free time sync programs on your DC you won't have to manually update the time =)
bubba_1234Author Commented:
Gaaah! How do i split points!!!!!!!!

Khaaaaaaaan!!
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Networking

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.