Time problems with Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation and clients

Posted on 2012-09-13
Last Modified: 2012-09-17
My server (PDC and only DC in forrest) runs 2 minutes fast. It also does not synchronize the clients. They are at various times (XP & Win 7).

What settings control this on the server and clients?
Question by:edison04
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    The W32Time service manages the time sync functionality within modern Windows operating systems.  More detail is available here:

    I would see what host your DC is configured to sync with (, and verify that you can obtain the time from this source.  You should make sure that your DC is marked as authoritative, and then confirm that your clients are able to query time from the DC successfully.  Is this manifesting as auth problems?  Kerberos relies on a minimal time skew, so would expect that this gets to be a bigger issue if not resolved.  Is it possible that you have policy allowing your clients to sync elsewhere vs. the domain?  Best of luck!

    Author Comment

    Can you give me a little more detail on where to find these configs?:
    1) what host my DC is configured to sync with ( where is this setting?)
    2) DC is marked as authoritative (where is this?)

    Not sure about manifestation as auth problems--does slowness count? We use 3 clients as login machines and the times are always different among the 3 and also compared to the DC. Like 2-5 minutes variation.

    There is no other policy allowing sync elsewhere. It is a new server and I "configured" it and the clients. Some clients have to be rebooted to get the correct time, but lose it later.

    Author Comment

    I needed to sync to an external time source.

    This page is more user-friendly:

    The server now has the right time and I will wait a day to see if the clients do.

    Author Closing Comment

    The solution steered me in the right direction, but was not "dumbed down" enough for me.

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