Setting Windows Time in W2K3.

What is the proper way of setting up Windows Time in a W2K3 environment? All my client machines are running Windows XP. Do I have to configure anything in my DCs for Windows Time? Do I have to configure the NTP group policy options? I have 5 regional offices. Each office has a DC.

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da3veConnect With a Mentor Commented:
As you have indicated that you are in a domain, you should be set by default. The W32TIME service is set up to get time from the PDC automatically and the DCs should pull time from the PDC. You may want to ensure that your PDC is pointing at a good external NTP source to ensure that your network is in synch with the rest of the world.

This question addresses the time setup in a domain. Check it out and let me know if it answers your questions.

AGenMISAuthor Commented:
There is no PDC since this is a W2K3 environment  but you're saying I should at least setup one of my DC's to point to an external source? If I do that, do I point my other DC's to the that DC and how would I do that?

da3veConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Sorry, when I say PDC, I am referring to the FSMO/PDC emulator. PDC may be a legacy concept but microsoft kept it around...

The time synchronization is configured when member servers join the domain. The PDC emulator keeps master time for the domain. You should see that all of your member servers and clients are synchronized to the same time (perhaps plus or minus a few seconds). If you change the time on the PDC emulator, you should see all the clients and member servers synch to the new time based on their polling interval.

By default, the PDC emulator doesn't reference an external NTP source. If the clock in the PDC emulator is set incorrectly or is losing time, you will see that reflected on the other domain members. That is why you will likely want the PDC emulator to reference an external NTP source or a GPS clock.

There is a diagram on the page below called "Time Synchronization in an AD DS Hierarchy" that illustrates time flow fairly concisely.

How the Windows Time Service Works

Also, you can use the below command to find the PDC emulator. The reference is below the command.
dsquery server -hasfsmo pdc

Open in new window

Identify the PDC emulator

Hope this helps.
Setting external NTP source on your PDC by pointing it to (or its IP address which you can get just by pinging that url) or

use the "net time" command in your logon script or logon batch for your domain computers and it will get time from your PDC if it is not already doing so.
First, ensure your firewall port NTP 123 is opened to the "internet".

And then try it...

For example: Assigned PDC to NTP server, now sync with
*** NTP server
>>Type the following command to configure the PDC emulator and then press ENTER:
w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:peers /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update

With "peers" you can set the time source, either DNS name ( or an ip address from a reliable time source.

Here you can find some of them: 

>>Then type the command to establish the connection
w32tm /resync /rediscover.

>>Further checking... (now you are able to see the sync connection has been established)
w32tm /monitor
w32tm /monitor / (NTP server)

*** Client servers and desktop
>>To configure a client computer for automatic domain time synchronization
w32tm /config /syncfromflags:domhier /update

After that run:
net stop w32time
net start w32time
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