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

This article was previously published under Q193825
The NET TIME /DOMAIN:<domainname> command does not attempt to obtain a listof domain time source (TS) servers in the target domain. Instead, thecomputer sending the command will synchronize its time directly with theprimary domain controller (PDC), not the time source (TS) server of thedomain specified by the /DOMAIN switch.
When the /DOMAIN switch is used with the NET TIME command, the computersending 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 thePDC.
To force a computer to synchronize its time with a specific computer, sendthe following command:



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

On computers running Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 3 installed, anenvironment variable called LogonServer is set to the validating domaincontroller. The LogonServer variable can be used to load balance the timesource responsibility by sending the following command:

Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT versions 4.0. Weare researching this problem and will post new information here in theMicrosoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.
When using NET TIME /DOMAIN:<DomainName>, a browse list is never requestedfrom the domain listed to obtain a list of time source (TS) servers. Thismay cause problems if the PDC is not the domain time source server becausesome applications may be highly time sensitive.

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

A time source server advertises itself through the browser announcement. AWindows NT client or Windows 95 client should use the browse list todetermine the time source server or servers available with which tosynchronize time (this works as expected using NET TIME without the /DOMAINswitch).

A computer can be configured to be a domain time source server by addingthe TIMESOURCE value (Reg_DWord) under the following registry key andsetting the value to 1:
When NET TIME /SET is sent without the /DOMAIN switch, the computer willobtain a browse list for the domain in which it is a member, select a timesource server from the list, and then send a NetrRemoteTOD call tosynchronize the time.
For additional information, please see the following articles in theMicrosoft Knowledge Base:

135646Err Msg: Could Not Locate a Time-Server

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

174557Time Sources Defined for the Windows NT Time Service
timesource net time sync domain timeserve

Article ID: 193825 - Last Review: 10/31/2006 19:10:36 - Revision: 1.1

  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • kbbug kbnetwork kbpending KB193825