Synchronizing Windows Clocks for HomeGroup

I am attempting to get four different PC's on the same HomeGroup. All PC's are running windows time, and are set to synchronize with However, some of the PC's have different time settings (off by six seconds)! How can I get them all to synchronize.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
windows time is not an exact time reference. The only guarantee is that it will be within 5 minutes
“We do not guarantee and we do not support the accuracy of the W32Time service between nodes on a network. The W32Time service is not a full-featured NTP solution that meets time-sensitive application needs. The W32Time service is primarily designed to do the following:

    Make the Kerberos version 5 authentication protocol work.
    Provide loose sync time for client computers.

The W32Time service cannot reliably maintain sync time to the range of 1 to 2 seconds. Such tolerances are outside the design specification of the W32Time service.”
normanwillisAuthor Commented:
Sorry, I should have been more specific. I set up a HomeGroup with my laptop (years ago). Now I want to add a W7 micro PC to the HomeGroup. However, when I try to add the W7 micro PC to the HomeGroup, it says, "All HomeGroup Computers Must Have The Correct Time. (As a security precaution, all HomeGroup computers must have synchronized clocks. Ensure that the date and time is correct on all computers that are joined to the HomeGroup, or that you would like to join to the HomeGroup. You can set the clock by opening the Date and Time in the Control Panel, or by clicking on the clock on the Taskbar.)"

All clocks are set to synch to Both clocks are set to US Central Standard Time (UTC -6:00), with the option to adjust for Daylight Savings Time checked.

I click Ok on the error message on the W7 micro PC, and it says, "Run the HomeGroup Troubleshooter on the Computer That Created The HomeGroup." So I run the HomeGroup Troubleshooter on the laptop. It says, "Troubleshooting Has Completed. They system time is different from your local standard time. Not fixed."

On my laptop, how can I set the system time to be the same as my local standard time, so I can add the W7 Micro PC to my laptop HomeGroup? (Or how can I get the W7 micro PC added to my HomeGroup)?
Hmmm ... W32time, the timekeeping service in Windows. I experienced enough trouble with that piece of crap when in NTP mode to avoid using it whenever I can.

My recommendation:

Use a Windows port of the classic *ix NTP service, sync a master (or two, three) with an external source (i.e. from and sync the clients and DCs to the master. The NTP service software is free. Easy to install and configure, works like a charm and is stable as a rock. And it is nicer when it comes to one of the rare cases of troubleshooting. It keeps the time within a range of some 10 milliseconds from the sources, given acceptable network conditions.

See this article for the "How To". In your case (about half a dozen machines, no domain/AD) it would be suitable to simply set up each machine to follow some servers from

The NTP service has a low resource footprint, therefore the NTP functionality could be hooked onto existing machines or VM's like webservers, ftp servers, mailservers or database hosts - even in a DMZ - without visible performance impact.
normanwillisAuthor Commented:
Thank you both for your help. I called the manufacturer, and they had a utility that allowed me to get the laptop to talk to the third party software on the Mini PC without having to have them both on the same HomeGroup.

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normanwillisAuthor Commented:
I was not specific in my initial question. The third party software manufacturer had a utility that solved my particular problem.
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