Time errors

I had an interesting call from a client this afternoon telling me that his client PC’s were all showing the wrong time by about 10 minutes. Now since they have SBS 2008 there should be nothing to worry about as it uses the Microsoft time server time.microsoft.com to keep the correct time. So after logging on to the server I confirmed that it was indeed 10 minutes adrift. A quick check showed the following:

C:Usersadministrator>w32tm /stripchart /computer:time.windows.com /samples:5 /dataonly
Tracking time.windows.com [65.55.56.111:123].
Collecting 5 samples.
The current time is 05/09/2011 16:47:27.
16:47:27, error: 0x800705B4
16:47:30, error: 0x800705B4
16:47:33, error: 0x800705B4
16:47:36, error: 0x800705B4
16:47:39, error: 0x800705B4

Since this was showing an error trying to get the time, I checked it against one of the UK time servers and got the following result:

C:Usersadministrator>w32tm /stripchart /computer:0.uk.pool.ntp.org /samples:5 /dataonly
Tracking 0.uk.pool.ntp.org [195.59.148.18:123].
Collecting 5 samples.
The current time is 05/09/2011 16:49:46.
16:49:46, -661.4346981s
16:49:49, -661.4415467s
16:49:51, -661.4392247s
16:49:53, -661.4351922s
16:49:55, -661.4401522s

This showed that there was a clear time skew taking place. So the best course was to reset the time source to a known good source using the following commands:

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:0.uk.pool.ntp.org /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update

net stop w32time

net start w32time

Now a quick check shows that now that we are keeping much better time:

C:Usersadministrator>w32tm /stripchart /computer:0.uk.pool.ntp.org /samples:5 /dataonly
Tracking 0.uk.pool.ntp.org [109.74.206.120:123].
Collecting 5 samples.
The current time is 05/09/2011 16:49:47.
16:49:47, +00.0726604s
16:49:49, +00.0008012s
16:49:51, +00.0017108s
16:49:53, -00.0007301s
16:49:56, +00.0486631s

Not too sure if this is affecting everyone but there does seem to be a trend, hopefully this will help others.

– Rob

Rob Written by:

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