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Windows 2003 Default Domain Controller Policy Time Sync issues

Posted on 2010-11-23
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I am trying to clean up 2003 directory services. I am getting W32Time errors all over the domain controllers and clients. On the domain controllers, I have the default domain policy pointing at time.apple.com; NTP; defaults- and the time server enabled for directory services which does not seem to be working, I'm guessing I may have overlooked something and need a second opinion. We have mac's in house and management thought this was a better approach than the default windows time server.

My default domain policy aims at my PDC with 0x02 to round robin to all domain controllers, but I have a domain controller that was demoted and is in the environment as a member server hosting a critical web app, for some reason clients are trying to target this server as a time source and domain controller. Can I perform a partial metadata cleanup of some sort to remove the pointer to it as a replication/time partner without destroying the computer object to retain the web application?
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Question by:mlarivie
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LVL 15

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by:Lee Osborne
Lee Osborne earned 300 total points
ID: 34199894
I used this article a couple of weeks ago to tidy up my forest and time sync:

http://robsilver.org/ad/demystifying-time-in-a-forest/

I now have a perfectly sync'd forest, DC's and workstations, and everything is tidy! A couple of things I noted which were handy, were to remove any GPO settings for time sync and keep them as default, and to reset the w32tm configs on the servers and then set them up accordingly (W32tm /unregister, W32tm /register).

Lee
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Justin Owens earned 1400 total points
ID: 34199898
In a typical AD scenario, here is how your time hierarchy should work:

1. PDCe Points to the Internet

Your server hosting the PDCe Role points to the Internet somewhere (I like tick and tock, the USNavy's servers).  You can find them here.

2. All Other Domain Controllers Point to the PDCe

In a typical AD, your other DCs should automatically point to your PDCe.

3. AD Members Point to Their Logon Server

Member servers and workstation should get their time from the DC which authenticates them onto the network.
If this is not how you are set up, I would change it to this functionality.  I would avoid using Apple as a time server for a Windows AD on general principle.  Though I have no proof, I have seen too many cases where it messes up to trust Apple to not be doing something screwy to make Windows machines not work correctly.

On your PDCe, you can set the time server from the command line by typing:

NET TIME /SETSNTP:tick.usno.navy.mil (or whatever public time server you wish to use)

In the event that your PDCe is not in the domain as the authoritative time server, follow the directions in this document:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042

Let me know how those changes affect your scenario.

DrU
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LVL 59

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by:Darius Ghassem
Darius Ghassem earned 300 total points
ID: 34200403
Here is a great link from tigermatt on setting up Time for AD.

http://tigermatt.wordpress.com/2009/08/01/windows-time-for-active-directory/

I would not use a GPO to sync time
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