Windows 2008 PDC - Ext. Time check different than official us time

Posted on 2011-05-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a very strange issue here. My IT Coworker noticed that our system time (PDC, Servers and Workstations) are off by 4-5 minutes from our phone. While checking the following website:

http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Pacific/d/-8/java for PST time, the phone and this official website (and others) are exactly correct. I believe our phone system which is controlled by an outside vendor, uses their own Time Sync setup.

Going with the above info, I assumed that our servers were incorrect. I looked on the net to find a way to verify that the time was indeed off. I found two that provided the query information I needed:

1. http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winservergen/thread/96278628-03a1-4b3d-90d9-2208a65a1210/

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

When running the following command on the Windows 2008 PDC/FSMO, I got this:

C:\Windows\system32>w32tm /stripchart /computer:pool.ntp.org /samples:5 /dataonly
Tracking pool.ntp.org [].
Collecting 5 samples.
The current time is 5/3/2011 10:06:32 AM.
10:06:32, +222.7781307s
10:06:34, +222.7767302s
10:06:36, +222.7734748s
10:06:38, +222.7734918s
10:06:40, +222.7728472s

But our phone and the official US Time Zone website state the time is actually 10:11:xx?

So it seems that both are stating the correct information, however which site/system is correct? How can the official us time website be 5 minutes ahead of our time query on the server?

Our two DC's are both Win 2008 and using Hyper-V on top of windows. Their Time Sync feature in Integrated Services is disabled.

Question by:UCB_OPTO
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LVL 20

Accepted Solution

Svet Paperov earned 1200 total points
ID: 35515149
I don’t have an answer for you, just a comment:

Microsoft suggests that we disable time synchronization on the DC when it is hosted as a virtual server by modifying HKLM/System/CurrentCOntrolSet/Service/W32Time/Parameters/Type and from "NT5DS" to "NoSync". See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd348449%28WS.10%29.aspx, section Note on Time Services.

In my environment, I have my Hyper-V servers (not on domain), the DC, the phone system, and all network devices all synchronizing from a single internal host – a Linux one, that synchronize from nist.time.gov and all clocks are synchronized.  
LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:Svet Paperov
ID: 35515172
I forgot about the Reg change: Time synchronization with Integration Tools needs to be enabled in that case.

Assisted Solution

UCB_OPTO earned 0 total points
ID: 35811536
I simply used the normal method of having the primary DC sync with an external time clock and the issue was resolved eventually.

I have heard that you should NOT have a VM sync with the host system if you also use the MS recommended method of syncing with an external time clock as conflicts can arise with both methods fighting over the time changes. Can't say I have tried that myself and currently I have both external and sync with VM host enabled.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35859672
Both methods are correct with possible issues.

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