Windows Server Time with NTP

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Here’s how to configure a Windows domain controller to act as an NTP client and server for your network. You may then sync all your hosts, Windows or other, to that server. To achieve this, configure one (or more) of your domain controllers to retrieve time from the atomic clocks of the Internet. Rest of you servers should follow suit and sync their time to this domain controller after a little while.

You must allow the NTP protocol to pass through your firewall. This can be achieved by allowing tcp/123 and udp/123 traffic.

To retrieve time from the Internet and serve it to computers on your network, edit or add the following registry keys:

That configuration will effectively make your server both an NTP client and an NTP server. SpecialPollInterval is the polling interval in seconds. 0xe10 = 3600 seconds. The NtpServer string is a space-separated list of time providers, each appended with the string “,0x1”. I use European time providers.

Restart the W32Time service to make the configuration current:

To force resynchronization of time:

To monitor the time of your domain controllers:

To force resynchronization of time on some other server:

You can now configure your non-windows boxes to sync time to the server using NTP. Windows machines which are AD domain members should sync automatically without further configuration.


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  1. Oh, if you are having trouble getting the configuration to work, check that your group policy does not set the Windows Time Service parameters (it is under Computer/Administrative templates/System/Windows Time Server). Set everything to “Not configured”, refresh the policy with “gpupdate” and restart with “net stop w32time && net start w32time”.

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