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How to Migrate NTP server source settings from old PDCE to new PDCE?

Hello all.  

I am wanting to double check that the NTP server source settings that the previous PDCE was using were terminated and transferred over to the new PDCE with the FSMO change.  I assumed incorrectly that this was part of the process of transferring FSMO roles.  Also, part of me is worried that a mistake in manually doing this could cause issues effecting Kerberos authentication.

I ran the following command on my computer w32tm /query /source and the results show one of the older non PDCEs.  Then I log into the new server 2012 PDCE and run the same command and it points to the previous 2003 PDCE, that has since had this role transferred.  I then run the following command on it net time /querysntp and it has a list of 4 ntp servers.

How do I enter in these ntp servers into the new 2012 PDCE and then shut them off on the old 2003 previous PDCE (so that it can be demoted and removed from active directory and shut down...without risking time drift and blowing up active directory Kerberos authentication)?  I want the new PDCE to have the 4 NTP servers and be considered the new authoritative time source for all computers on the domain.

Thanks a lot for the help.
Windows Server 2012Active DirectoryWindows Server 2003

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8/22/2022 - Mon

Your best bet to reset and reconfigure the time services is to use the following EE PAQs:

Resetting the Time Services:  http:/Q_28597899.html#a40554687

Configuring a GPO with a WMI filter for Time Services: http:/Q_28597899.html#a40553961

By using a Group Policy with a WMI filter to configure your time services, you will essentially get the automatic migration of time services if you ever need to transfer the PDCe FSMO role again.


Ok thanks, since I have already transferred the PDC role to another DC and it is pulling its time from the older DC that used to hold that role, I have two additional questions.

1.  By default, what are the 2012 PDC's NTP settings?   What is the DNS of the public time servers that Microsoft has configured them to pull from?

2.  On the old PDC, it has four manually configured NTP servers.  Once I go through all of the steps outlined in that article, will this old DC then pull from the new PDC or will these manual settings over-ride them?

Thanks again.

By default depends on the initial setup of your server/workstation:
A.  Domain Member/Domain Controller - Time service is configured to pull from the Domain Hierarchy; e.g. - w32tm /config /syncfromflags:DOMHIER /update.
B.  Workgroup Member - Time service is configured to pull from time.windows.com; e.g. - w32tim /config /manualpeerlist:"time.windows.com,0x9" /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update.

However, people have found that time.windows.com is *not* a reliable time source.

In answer to your second question, the old DC, should pull it's time from the new PDC (so long as it's time service has been reset to default and reconfigured to pull from the domain hierarchy).

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James Murphy

Ok thanks, but regarding the first question, in a vacuum or blank slate domain.  You have 3 theoretical domain controllers, two standard, and one PDC.  I get that the two standard ones pull from the PDC, but where does the PDC pull from by default (if anywhere outside of its self)?  Does it pull from time.windows.com or pool.ntp.org...etc?  Or does it simply use its own hardware, CMOS battery to keep accurate time?

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Ok perfect, thanks for all of the information.  This is what I was after.