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Computers in domain time source: Free-running system clock. How to correct this?

Posted on 2014-12-06
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Last Modified: 2014-12-07
Windows 2K8 domain. 2 DCs running Windows 2K8 32bit.
Users claimed incorrect time on computers. I ran the command "w32tm /query /source" on both DCs and a few workstations. The results were all the same: Free-running system clock
I supposed a workstation would sync with the DC and the DC would sync with an external time source. I am quite surprised that they are all at "free-running system clock"
What could be the cause for this?
How can I fix it?

Thanks!
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Question by:techcity
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NVIT earned 500 total points
ID: 40485231
Is your Domain controller configured to an authoritative time server?
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042

http://blogs.msmvps.com/acefekay/2009/09/18/configuring-the-windows-time-service-for-windows-server/

Run the appropriate “Microsoft Mr Fix It” script by visiting it from each DC. You must visit it from each DC

For the DC with the FSMO Role, pick “Microsoft Fix It 50394,”
For the non-PDC Emulators, pick “Microsoft Fix It 50395.”
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by:techcity
ID: 40485696
From what I have carefully read in your first link
Configuring the Windows Time service to use an external time source - pick "50395"
Configuring the Windows Time service to use an internal time source - pick "50394"
So for my FSMO server, I should run "50395".
Please correct me if I am wrong
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by:techcity
ID: 40485702
Here is what I do not understand
- FSMO server should sync with an external time source, why pickup 50394 ?
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by:NVIT
ID: 40485712
Per http://blogs.msmvps.com/acefekay/2009/09/18/configuring-the-windows-time-service-for-windows-server/ scroll down to... On the new PDC Emulator AND on the non-PDC Emulators, go to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042. You will notice the “Microsoft Fix It” link. When you visit the link from the DC holding the PDC Emulator FSMO Role, it will show up as “Microsoft Fix It 50394,” and on the non-PDC Emulators, it will show up as “Microsoft Fix It 50395.”
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by:techcity
ID: 40485723
Yes, I have read that part on Acefekay's blog. It did not explain why.
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by:techcity
ID: 40485733
I am deeply studying the blog, it is "very" helpful and I have sensed it has the solution to my problem
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by:NVIT
ID: 40485788
Yes. The blog shows ways to either pick the Fix It links or do it manually
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by:techcity
ID: 40485871
Here are the words at the very beginning on the blog
"I just wanted to make a statement regarding the time service registry entries. There really is NO need to modify the time service registry entries. The time service works by default, out of the box. The only thing that’s recommended to do, is synchronize the PDC Emulator in the forest root domain to a reliable outside source. That’s it."

"If you’ve experimented changing time settings to unknowlingly avert default behavior, you can set the time settings back to default:
1. On the DC that you’re experiencing issues with, run the following in a command prompt:
◾ net stop w32time
◾ w32tm /unregister
◾ w32tm /register
◾ net start w32time
2. On the Server in question (whether it’s the PDC Emulator or another server), run the following in a command prompt:
◾“net time /setsntp: ” (Note the blank space prior to the end “)  [This tells the client (whether a DC or workstation) to delete the current registry settings for time and use default settings.]
◾Restart the time service:  Net stop w32time && net start w32time
3. On the PDC Emulator run the following in a command prompt:
◾W32tm /config /manualpeerlist:time.nrc.ca /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update
◾ W32tm /resync /rediscover
◾Restart the time service: net stop w32time && net start w32time
4. On each DC that are not holding the PDC Emulator role, run the following in a command prompt:
◾w32tm /config /syncfromflags:domhier /update
◾ W32tm /resync /rediscover
◾Restart the time service: net stop w32time && net start w32time

After following the above steps 1~4, I verified the time source on DCs and a workstation by running "w32tm /query /source". The FSMO DC is syncing with an external source, the non-FSMO DC and the workstation are syncing with the FSMO DC.

So all is good now.

Thanks again :-)
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by:NVIT
ID: 40485886
Thanks for your responses. Glad you got it working, techcity. Now you can rest? 8-)
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by:techcity
ID: 40485891
Well, as an IT support, work has never ended. Now I am working on a Hyper-V issue.
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by:NVIT
ID: 40485920
I know what you mean. Especially when the **** hits the fan! Take care.
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