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Windows Server 2008 - OS - Synchronizing domain controllers to public NTP servers

Any software title released for Windows. Articles are posted in "Windows Version - Software Title - Subject" format.

Windows Server 2008 - OS - Synchronizing domain controllers to public NTP servers

Postby lmmtux » Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:14 pm

It is very important to ensure all of your network is synchronized to the correct time. Windows domain controllers can synchronize to public NTP servers to keep their local time correct. Then, local clients on your network then synchronize to your domain controllers. This is recommended practice rather than letting your local clients synchronize directly to public NTP servers.

Setting a domain controller to synchronize with public NTP services

In Windows Server 2008 this configuration is all done by the command line.

  1. Open a command prompt as an administrator (click Start / Run / type in "cmd" / near the top of the menu right-click and select "Run As Administrator").
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  2. In the administrator command window, follow these steps.
    • Check to see if the domain controller is synchronizing to any outside time source. Run the command:
      Code: Select all
      w32tm /query /configuration

      Under NtpServer, any outside time sources should be listed. If it reports "local", then no outside time sources are currently being used and the remaining setup below should be done to use public NTP services.
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    • Configure Windows Time service to use public NTP servers. Run the command:
      Code: Select all
      w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:"timeserver1.domain.com timeserver2.domain.com" /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update

      Where "timeserver1.domain.com" and "timeserver2.domain.com" are your chosen public NTP timeservers. A list of public timeservers can be found at the ntp.org website.
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    • Check that the settings have applied by running the command:
      Code: Select all
      w32tm /query /configuration

      The timeservers listed above should be listed on the "NtpServer" line.
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    • You can also check your server time against a public time website such as http://www.time.gov to make sure it is in sync with official time.
  3. Apply the above settings to all domain controllers to provide redundancy.
  4. Allow several minutes for network clients to sync to the domain controller.

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