Go Premium for a chance to win a PS4. Enter to Win

x
?
Solved

Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Workstations - no time sync?

Posted on 2011-03-13
12
Medium Priority
?
974 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have Windows XP workstations in a domain with Windows Server 2003.  Yesterday, before the time change, I went to each workstation to ensure the Windows Time service was running, changed the polling to 15 minutes and ran the command "w32tm /resync /rediscover"

I tested a sampling of workstations by changing the server time by a few minutes and seeing if the workstations followed suit.  They did.

This morning, after the time change, my server shows an hour later as it should, but my workstations do not.

Questions:

1. Why haven't they changed?
2. Does someone have to be logged in for the time to update?
3. If a regular user does not have the privleges necessary to allow a time change, will it change anyway since it is a service and not really dependent on their login?

Thanks.
0
Comment
Question by:Adam D
  • 5
  • 5
  • 2
12 Comments
 
LVL 7

Accepted Solution

by:
compaqus earned 1000 total points
ID: 35121437
When it happened to me a year ago, it was because i did not have the latest updates on daylight saving time.
Me I have used this patch on Server 2003, XP (with no sp3 i think) and a few win2000.

http://www.intelliadmin.com/index.php/2007/01/unofficial-windows-2000-daylight-saving-time-patch/
0
 
LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 35121864
It is certainly not a problem with the time sync service, because time according to Windows is always UTC. The time that is displayed is calculated by using an offset appropriate for the time zone. If your machines are showing the wrong time it is because their timezone rules are wrong and you need to get the DST patches on them.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Adam D
ID: 35128768
Thank you for your information.

It appears it was a problem with the TimeZone patch not being applied to the system (SP2 or 3 did not matter).

Although, in my opinion, I would think it would have been overridden by the timesync that told it the time on the server was an hour later than itself regardless of the information it had.

Installed the patch, good to go.
0
What does it mean to be "Always On"?

Is your cloud always on? With an Always On cloud you won't have to worry about downtime for maintenance or software application code updates, ensuring that your bottom line isn't affected.

 
LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 35131128
That is a misunderstanding of timesync. The timesync distributes UTC, which is a reference to time that doesn't use timezones, it is more of an absolute reference to time. Computers use UTC and timezone data to figure out how to display local time. In a time synced environment, changing the clock an hour is like saying that time itslef just jumped forward an hour, which of course it didn't. All of this ignores general relativity wackyness.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Adam D
ID: 35133052
Ok, I understand the UTC angle, but if I have designated my server in a domain as the authoritative time server, then all other machines should take note of the server's UTC timecode and convert to that time. Otherwise, what is the point of designating ANYTHING as the time server if the workstation does not change its time to match?
0
 
LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 35133165
They will all use the same internal time, so the minutes/seconds should always match, but the hour that is displayed depends upon the timezone settings. I have some servers in my environment set to display in UTC, while the rest of my environment displays in PST/PDT. If i had devices in other timezones they would display in their local time, but it can all be synced back to a single timesource. If I just changed "the time" on my time server and everything synced, devices in Arizona which doesn't save Daylight Saving time would get messed up.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Adam D
ID: 35133346
So, if the time of my server was off by a couple UTC hours for whatever reason, are you saying the rest of my machines which are supposed to rely on this server, and no one else, will NOT change their time?  That doesn't makes sense to me.
0
 
LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 35133480
I am saying that if on your primary time server you change the time zone setting to say "GMT +9:30 Darwin", you would see the hour change and the minutes would change by 30, but you wouldn't expect the clocks to change on any other machine in your domain. Everything still knows what 'true GMT time' is, that doesn't vary by timezone.

Now, if for some reason your server truely was off by serveral hours for some reason not related to DST and the timezone stuff was correct and you fixed the time either manually or by connecting to an external timesource, then yes everything else would shift by the same amount to show the 'correct' time.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Adam D
ID: 35133529
That is what I am saying.  Putting aside the timezone issue, if I manually clicked the time on the server and manually pushed it up by any amouont (hours or minutes) then the rest of the dependent machines should follow suit, right?  In this particular instance, based on your information, the reason they did NOT follow suit is due to the timezone issue.  But a with manual change, all would follow in line...right?
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:compaqus
ID: 35133580
This design was implemented taking into considerations offices with the domain controller in another time zone.
Let's say my office is in Vancouver but I VPN to my NY main office. The server there will keep my time in sync, my computer will believe the server, subtract 3 hours and show me the time.

Now, the computers without the patch, know that the time will change next week in their timezone, so it syncs accordingly.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Adam D
ID: 35133678
I believe a picture is beginning to form! :)  Thanks for your insight and information.  I appreciate it.
0
 
LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 35133683
If you just manually change the time on the primary time server for the domain, everything else should follow suit if you time sync infrastructure is working properly and you primary time server isn't getting time from another source such as an NTP server on the Internet.
0

Featured Post

What does it mean to be "Always On"?

Is your cloud always on? With an Always On cloud you won't have to worry about downtime for maintenance or software application code updates, ensuring that your bottom line isn't affected.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Learn about cloud computing and its benefits for small business owners.
Restoring deleted objects in Active Directory has been a standard feature in Active Directory for many years, yet some admins may not know what is available.
Two types of users will appreciate AOMEI Backupper Pro: 1 - Those with PCIe drives (and haven't found cloning software that works on them). 2 - Those who want a fast clone of their boot drive (no re-boots needed) and it can clone your drive wh…
Look below the covers at a subform control , and the form that is inside it. Explore properties and see how easy it is to aggregate, get statistics, and synchronize results for your data. A Microsoft Access subform is used to show relevant calcul…

916 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question