NET TIME /Domain Will Not Sync Time with Domain Time Source Server

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Article ID: 193825 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

The NET TIME /DOMAIN:<domainname> command does not attempt to obtain a list of domain time source (TS) servers in the target domain. Instead, the computer sending the command will synchronize its time directly with the primary domain controller (PDC), not the time source (TS) server of the domain specified by the /DOMAIN switch.

CAUSE

When the /DOMAIN switch is used with the NET TIME command, the computer sending the command does a NetGetDcName to determine the PDC of the domain. After the PDC is known, a call is made to synchronize the time with the PDC.

RESOLUTION

To force a computer to synchronize its time with a specific computer, send the following command:

NET TIME \\<MACHINENAME> /SET /Y

-or-

NET TIME \\<IP Address> /SET /Y

On computers running Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 3 installed, an environment variable called LogonServer is set to the validating domain controller. The LogonServer variable can be used to load balance the time source responsibility by sending the following command:

NET TIME %LOGONSERVER% /SET /Y

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT versions 4.0. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.

MORE INFORMATION

When using NET TIME /DOMAIN:<DomainName>, a browse list is never requested from the domain listed to obtain a list of time source (TS) servers. This may cause problems if the PDC is not the domain time source server because some applications may be highly time sensitive.

For example, all servers in a resource domain may be required to synchronize their time with the master account domain's time source server or servers. Rather than synchronizing the time with the account domain's time source server, the client computer will synchronize time with the account domain's PDC.

A time source server advertises itself through the browser announcement. A Windows NT client or Windows 95 client should use the browse list to determine the time source server or servers available with which to synchronize time (this works as expected using NET TIME without the /DOMAIN switch).

A computer can be configured to be a domain time source server by adding the TIMESOURCE value (Reg_DWord) under the following registry key and setting the value to 1:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\LANManServer\Parameters
When NET TIME /SET is sent without the /DOMAIN switch, the computer will obtain a browse list for the domain in which it is a member, select a time source server from the list, and then send a NetrRemoteTOD call to synchronize the time.

REFERENCES

For additional information, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

135646 Err Msg: Could Not Locate a Time-Server

131715 How to Set UP and Synchronize with Domain Time Source Servers

174557 Time Sources Defined for the Windows NT Time Service

Properties

Article ID: 193825 - Last Review: October 31, 2006 - Revision: 1.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
Keywords: 
kbbug kbnetwork kbpending KB193825

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