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Should all DCs in a domain advertise time services

Posted on 2011-02-13
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Hello,

A couple of days ago I had some timing issues in my domain which where caused by a bad GPO.  The GPO prevented any of my DCs to advertise time services.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/File_Servers/Active_Directory/Q_26808267.html

I have DC01 and DC02. DC01 is the PDC and when I run a dcdiag then it shows that it is distributing time services. Nice!
But what about the second domain controller DC02 which is running no FSMO - when I run a dcdiag then I see this:

         The DC DC02 is advertising as a Key Distribution Center
         Warning: DC02 is not advertising as a time server.

Should only the PDC advertise time services in a domain?

Thank you
Mc2102
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Question by:Mc2102
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Krzysztof Pytko earned 250 total points
ID: 34885725
Normally, all DCs provide time services. Clients synchronize their clocks with any DC in a network but all DCs synchronize clock with PDC only or with NTP specified in configuration (if it's different that default).

Regards,
Krzysztof
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by:LHT_ST
ID: 34886016
as above, from what i am aware all dc's will advertise the services but i would set the PDC to synch with NTP and the other DC to synch with the PDC, that way everyone gets the same time regardless of which dc they connect to.
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Expert Comment

by:Tasmant
ID: 34886720
To be sure to synchronise the PDC will a reliable time server (external NTP), you can use this link.
http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2008/11/13/configuring-an-authoritative-time-server-with-group-policy-using-wmi-filtering.aspx
Else, every others computers than the PDC should sync from the domain hierarchy, ie DC sync with their PDC and workstations sync with any of the PDCs.

For a better understanding, you can refer to this technet information:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773013%28WS.10%29.aspx

To be sure DC02 sync from the PDC, you can run the following command (source here:http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773263%28WS.10%29.aspx):
w32tm /config /update /syncfromflags:domhier /reliable:yes
w32tm /resync /nowait /rediscover
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Expert Comment

by:msmamji
ID: 34887013
My two cents..
In a forest, the domain controllers of a child domain synchronize time with domain controllers in their parent domains. When you have a parent-child model implemented then the PDC of the forest Root domain should be configured with reliable time server.
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Assisted Solution

by:Darius Ghassem
Darius Ghassem earned 250 total points
ID: 34888411
Very good article from TigerMatt on time within the domaim

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

by:Mc2102
ID: 34889324
Just to make sure I do understand that correctly: So the bottom line is that all DCs in a domain should advertise time services - not only the DC which holds the PDC FSMO?
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Author Comment

by:Mc2102
ID: 34890338
The answer to my question is: Yes - all DCs in a domain should advertise as a time server. I had the time service on DC02 missconfigured. It was set to 'type' = NTP. I changed the entry in the registry under HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Parameters and after a reboot DC02 started advertising time services.
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