I changed the time of a windows server 2003 manually (3 minutes). How can I force the clients to sync their time with the server?
The clients run on windows xp - 7 and 8.
Any kind of help is much appreciated.
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One way is to set the Windows Service Windows Time (W32Time) to Automatically start. Then set an Scheduled Task to run
If you are trying to force this to happen, the only way I am aware is to create a Domain Policy to do both.
We (Microsoft) do not guarantee and we do not support the accuracy of the W32Time service between nodes on a network. The W32Time service is not a full-featured NTP solution that meets time-sensitive application needs. The W32Time service is primarily designed to do the following; Make the Kerberos version 5 authentication protocol work, and Provide loose sync time for client computers. The W32Time service cannot reliably maintain sync time to the range of 1 to 2 seconds. Such tolerances are outside the design specification of the W32Time service.
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If you properly configure the time service on the forest root primary domain controller all other DC's and their clients will synchronise with their default settings. I can't remember specifically which of the FSMO role holder indicates which server this is, but it is one of "Schema Master" or "Domain Naming Master" role holders. Though in most domains both of those FSMO roles will be on the same server which will typically be the first server in the domain to be setup.
Look at the MS page Configure the Windows Time service on the PDC emulator in the Forest Root Domain. It basically says to run a command like the following on that server so it can be marked as having a good time source that all other domain machines can sync with.
This will make your server use the following internet NTP servers
Though I typically also set an option in DHCP to specify a local DC to be a local NTP server for the DHCP clients/devices who are not domain members. There are 2 settings in MS DHCP, one works and the other is old and deprecated and usually doesn't. I'll fill in which is which tomorrow when I'm at work.
Worth noting - if your client and server times are too far separated (aka "drift") then NTP often wont sync up. You'll have to do it manually first to get them within that range, usually about +/-5 minutes and ensure your date is also set correctly on both machines.
Microsoft has a pretty robust document here regarding the Windows Time Service and also includes information for how to set it up within Group Policy: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc779145(v=ws.10).aspx