Windows Server 2008 R2 – Sync Time Using External Time Source

Sync Time using External Time Source

Trying to figure out why the time is faster/slower on your mobile phone than your computer clock? Well if you are on a domain that means that the time on your domain controller (DC) is wrong. By default, all machines in the domain will sync time from the DC which is the internal time server. If you have more than one DC then the time will sync from the DC that holds the Primary Domain Controller (PDC) emulator Flexible Single Master Operation (FSMO) role.

To identify which DC is the PDC emulator in the domain you can run netdom /query fsmo which will get you this:

query-fsmoRun these commands on the PDC emulator:

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:"time.windows.com,0x1" /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update
if you get the Access is denied. (0x80070005) error

 error-0x80070005

then do this:
net stop w32time then w32tm /unregister then w32tm /register then net start w32time

then rerun:

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:"time.windows.com,0x1" /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update

and then:
w32tm /config /update
and then:
net stop w32time && net start w32time
After you get “The command completed successfully.” you can view the configuration by running w32tm /query /configuration

w32tm-query-configuration
Notice in the image the DC will now be getting the time from time.windows.com

To configure a client to automatically sync from the domain run:
w32tm /config /syncfromflags:domhier /update

By default all workstations on a domain will automatically sync their time to the domain controller

You can verify the workstation is synchronizing time from the domain controller by running:
w32tm /monitor
It will output like this:
w32tm-monitor

If the time is not synchronized you can run:
w32tm /resync
That’s it!

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