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NTP Support on Windows

23/08/2011

I don’t know if this issue is in concern (it might become in the future). I’ve just read an article about synchronizing the time of a Windows machine using the NTP protocol. Just in case, I copy the relevant section with the unknown information regarding the setup of the Windows environment.


There is a very simple way to set your Windows Server OS (2000 and later) to use an external time server. To do this simply click on this Fixit link and the registry entries necessary to be changed will be changed and your server will start updating time from an external source.

If you are more of the DIY Windows admin, you will want to know the registry edits that are made by clicking that Fix It link. Here they are (NOTE: The Windows registry is a tool that not all users are qualified to use. Make sure you do a backup of your registry before you make any changes.):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Parameters\Type

Right-click Type and select Modify. Change the entry in the Value Data box to NTP and click OK.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Config\AnnounceFlags

Right-click AnnounceFlags and select Modify. In the Edit D Word change the Value Data to 5 and click OK.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\TimeProviders\NtpServer

In the right pane, right-click Enabled and select Modify. In the Edit D Word change the Value Data to 1 and click OK.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Parameters

In the right pane, right-click NtpServer and select Modify. Change the Value Data to Peers and click OK.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\TimeProviders\NtpClient\SpecialPollInterval

In the right pane, right-click SpecialPollInterval and select Modify. Change the Value Data to Seconds (where Seconds is a number representing the amount of seconds between polls; 900 seconds is ideal) and click OK.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Config\MaxPosPhaseCorrection

In the right pane right-click MaxPosPhaseCorrection and select Modify. Change the Value Data to Seconds (where Seconds is a number representing the amount of seconds used for positive corrections; this is used to correct for time zones and other issues).

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Config\MaxNegPhaseCorrection

In the right pane, right-click MaxNegPhaseCorrection and select Modify. Change the Value Data to Seconds (where Seconds is a number representing the amount of seconds used for negative corrections; this is used to correct for time zones and other issues).

Once you have made the final registry edit, quit the registry editor and then click Start | Run and enter the following command:

net stop w32time && net start w32time

Your Windows machine will now start syncing time to an external server at the set intervals.

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