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Server 2008 SP2 AD - arbitrarily changes time causing it to become inacessible

Posted on 2011-03-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a 2008 Server Standard SP2 64bit running AD, DNS and file server roles.  I also have a 2nd 2003 r2 box acting as a BDC.  If I reboot the 2008 PDC it will come up with an incorrect date and time around 50% of the time.  It seems to have been corrected with a "fix me now" from MSFT but it still happens occassionally.  Today it rebooted and came up with the incorrect time, I manually set the time and everything was OK for around 8 hours then I rebooted one of my XP workstation and it could not log in.  When I checked the server, it was 2 months ahead and at 5:30 on 3/22/11 it showed 7:30 AM on 5/7/11.   Is this a bug, a registry issue or incorrect time settings?  Any insight will be greatly appreciated.  
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Question by:Marshall Kass
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:ActiveDirectoryman
ID: 35194337

are you using NTP in your environment. You can setup NTP on the PDC and sync your time with an external time soruce.

 
How to configure an authoritative time server in Windows Server

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:ActiveDirectoryman
ID: 35194364

PDC is acutally called the PDC emulator master.  Starting with Windows sever 2000 Active directory all domain controllers have read/write capability.  

ignore the article I suggested and look at this one:


Solved: Demystifying Time in a Forest

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc784800(WS.10).aspx
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Author Comment

by:Marshall Kass
ID: 35194448
I already did that when I originally set up this server.  It was working fine for a long time and then this started.  I followed the directions for setting up the authorative time server (2008) and then I rechecked it again after this strarted.  I also used microsoft's "fix it" tool to reset everything correctly. Today was just wierd because it usually require a manual change and that is that, today it reset iteslf (the ONLY computer out of 12 I have here) in the middle of the day without reobooting or crashing...
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:snusgubben
ID: 35196503
Are your DCs virtual? If so verify that they don't sync their time with the VM host.

Verify that the HW clock/date is correct on both DCs.
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Author Comment

by:Marshall Kass
ID: 35197821
There are two physical servers, the 2008 DC and the 2003 R2 BDC.  
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:snusgubben
ID: 35197848
Are their BIOS clock correct?
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Author Comment

by:Marshall Kass
ID: 35197941
The server's BIOS clock was off 2 hours after a 2nd reboot- I am getting a replacement batterey as I do not know if the system time is written to the BIOS after the issue occurs or the BIOS is issueing an inccorect time to the system.  I ned to contact SuperMicro to determine if it is a regular PC battery as the server is in a difficult place to check on it physically.  This (to me) is a  chicken or the egg situation right now.
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Accepted Solution

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snusgubben earned 2000 total points
ID: 35198354
I have seen DCs where the HW time was wrong, and during a reboot it picks up the time from the BIOS even if it's configured to use a NTP. When the network is up and running, it corrects the time with the NTP.

If the difference is too big this might fail.
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Author Comment

by:Marshall Kass
ID: 35198744
Let me change the battery on the board and see if this makes the difference.  as you can imagine, I need to wait till the weekend to do this as I cannot shut everyone down for that long.  Thank you to everyone so far and please keep monitoring this question as I am hoping it is as simple as a battery.  I will resume this conversation Monday afternoon.  Again, thanks to all and if someone else has a suggestion, please let em rip!
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Author Comment

by:Marshall Kass
ID: 35388043
sorry for the delay.  Due to some disk problems I have had to restart the server a number of times over this last weekend and I did not encounter this error again.  I never changed the battery (actually forgor due to the drive issues) but it still seems random and intermittent
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Author Comment

by:Marshall Kass
ID: 35784944
Has not happened over the last few reboots.  Never changed the battery (see above) but I am cautiously optimistic.  I will award point shortly as I am still not sure what the issue is here.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Marshall Kass
ID: 35837086
Repalced the battery and no problems since.
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