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Command Prompt reports link to time.windows.com, but still receive error messages

Posted on 2007-04-07
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SBS 2003 R2 with Windows XP Pros for workstations. Following error and command prompt info:

The time provider NtpClient is configured to acquire time from one or more time sources, however none of the sources are currently accessible.  No attempt to contact a source will be made for 960 minutes. NtpClient has no source of accurate time.

When I run the command: net Time /querysntip, I get back the following:

"The current SNTP value is : time.windows.com 0x1

The Windows Time server is started and is set to automatic.

Do I need UDP-123 port open?

Also, just FYI: Work stations report:

The current SNTP value is: time.nist.gov,0x1 time.windows.com,0x1
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Question by:Bert2005
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Expert Comment

by:Olaf De Ceuster
ID: 18871238
If you are running ISA you need to open UDP-123.
Also make sure your router is open for that port.
General info here:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042/
If this is a new server, give it a bit of time.
Olaf
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Expert Comment

by:DanKoster
ID: 18871548
FYI - NTP.org has several pool's of servers that you can use.  I always use north-america.pool.ntp.org for my client's servers.  (It automatically rotates between the available public servers in North America.)

It's also recommended that the workstations sync with the sbs server, and let the sbs box sync with a public source.
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Author Comment

by:Bert2005
ID: 18872991
--> olafdc  I followed the knowledgebase article exactly. I was confused on step 4c where it talks about adding the ,0x1 to the end of each DNS name. How do I do that? Also had problems with the MaxPosPhase Correction and MaxNeg in 6a and 6e. I had already set the SpecialPollInterval to 3600 seconds (one hour), so I wasn't sure what these two were for unless they were saying to only change if off by a certain amount of seconds.

Damn, I hope I don't have to open port UDP -123. As seen from other posts, I'm clueless as to Command Lines and PDM port openings. I would have a better chance of opening a Naval Port in Oklahoma then 80 or 443.

--> Dan Should I put the amaerica.pool.ntp.org where the article recommends Peer? Why does one have to make so many registry changes to set SBS to check for time. Shouldn't that be a simple process?
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Author Comment

by:Bert2005
ID: 18873935
OK, I figured out both issues. But, what confuses me is that the error message would infer that the NTP Client was already configured to look for a time source and probably could not due to Port 123 not being open. So, if the client is already looking, then why do all of those registry changes have to be made?
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Accepted Solution

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DanKoster earned 2000 total points
ID: 18874410
I actually didn't look at the KB when I first read the post, I just assumed it was relevent and gave you the FYI for server name.  Now that I looked at it, I can see your confusion.  Here's another link that has information more relevant to an SBS server.  It really isn't that hard in a typical setup:

http://isainsbs.blogspot.com/2005/01/amys-article-on-time.html

Of course, this assumes you are using ISA.  If you are using some other form of Firewall, it still shouldn't be that complex to change your ntp server in the registry (should be just a single setting) and make sure outbound 123 UDP is allowed.  You shouldn't need inbound allowed unless you want to make your SBS a public NTP server (which I don't recommend).  
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Author Comment

by:Bert2005
ID: 18876960
What is ISA? I know we don't use the SBS firewall. We use the Cisco PIX 501 firewall.
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Expert Comment

by:DanKoster
ID: 18877300
Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) comes with SBS Premium edition and is basically a firewall/router.  
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Author Comment

by:Bert2005
ID: 18877475
Oh, this is SBS Standar edition, and we don't have a firewall on.
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Expert Comment

by:DanKoster
ID: 18915738
So did you get everything figured out?  Even the link I gave you was TMI (too much info) for a standard SBS.  
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Author Comment

by:Bert2005
ID: 18917781
Dan,

Still working on it. I kee thinking I have to undo the changes from the Kb I used before. Plus I still need to open port 123. All of the PCs are pointing toward the server, but the server isn't getting times, so I guess we will be off by microseconds for awhile.
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