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w32time syncing with external source with NTP

Our situation is that we need two separate domains, domainX and domainY, to have the same time by syncing the two with external NTP servers. domainX has multiple parent and child DC's while domainY has a single DC. A server on domainX needs to sync with the DC on domainY because of time sensistive software. We have configured the registry settings according to microsofts documentation as follows. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042. The servers on domainX are pulling its time from incorrect parent domains. Also when configured to external NTP servers the server times do not match up. How do you specify where the w32time is being pulled from and also why are these times still about a minute off when in the event log it states that the time provider is receiving valid time data from the specified NTP source? What are we missing?

Please Help.

Thank you.
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Crossroads305
Asked:
Crossroads305
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1 Solution
 
lucius_theCommented:
It's possible that this will go away by itself.
When Windows syncronizes time it sometimes uses a skew function. What this means is that if time does not have a large error, Windows will not just reset the time to the right one, but it will make the time go faster or slower for a while to "catch up" with the correct time. Maybe this is why you don't see the change immediately.

I'd try to set the time on both servers by hand first, and then leave it to NTP and monitor for a few days to see if everything is fine.
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Crossroads305Author Commented:
When I manually set the time the same, they rather quickly drift out of sync. I dont believe they are configured properly. I am afraid the first server is pulling its time off the parent domain and not the NTP server.
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lucius_theCommented:
Thats very possible, but it shouldn't be wrong anyway even if it's pulling time from the other server. I had a very bad problem with this at one client that had 3 DC-s, but finally discovered that time was drifting not because of windows but because of one process that constantly changed windows time, it was a process used for Micros cashier systems in my case.

Are there any non-microsoft processes running on the server that has a time sync problem ?
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Crossroads305Author Commented:
No the server is only loading with the OS. We are accounting for the time before we put our apps on it.
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lucius_theCommented:
Did you try to use:

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:<ntpservers> /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update

to set the NTP server manually to the same NTP sources (defined by <ntpservers>) on both servers and see if this works ?
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Crossroads305Author Commented:
Yes I tried that, they are both still about a minute and a half off.
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lucius_theCommented:
I've been thinking a bit here. You say that time drifts, we should investigate on how that behaves. If you sync it manually, either by hand or by using w32tm to force a sync with NTP, when exactly does it go out of sync ?  Does that happen at one time, that time just jumps out of sync or does it really drift out by time, meaning time seems to go faster/slower on the problematic computer ?

My thinking is the following:
1) If the RTC of is bad, so not tracking time correctly, then time would most likely drift. This means you have to check the motherboard or RTC battery or whatever is the hardware behind it. Best would be to use the system without the OS loaded and see if time still drifts (if that's possible for you, since it's a server, maybe over the weekend). If if still drifts, it's hardware problem and we're looking at the wrong place.
2) If the time seems to stay in sync after manual update, and then suddenly jumps out of sync (that's what I had on my client's network) then it's likely that some process on the computer changes system time. By stopping processes one by one I finally found the sucker.
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Crossroads305Author Commented:
Thanks
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