I have a problem when my Windows 7 64-bit laptop is used during BST (British Summer Time)/ daylight saving periods.

Instead of the +1 shift in time, the system clock shifts +2 hours and can be a few minutes out from the NTP server time.

I've used all servers listed in the NTP server list - it makes no difference. I've just tried using pool.ntp.org, but I'm not convinced trying that is going to solve my problem, either.

From what I've seen, this is an issue that affects other Windows 7 users in other time zones, so it's not exclusive to GMT/BST users or users of a particular NTP server. My assumption is that it's something obscure in Windows 7 that's causing this issue.

Is there a fix for this issue? I've seen the issue described in questions and various articles online - but I haven't found a definite fix.

  • Preliminary question : Which timezone is your computer on ?
    – harrymc
    Mar 31 '12 at 13:20
  • (UTC) Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London is the current time zone.
    – James
    Mar 31 '12 at 17:21
  • Do you have another copy of an operating system installed? Jul 15 '12 at 19:33
  • Nope. It was the only one on the system when the problems started occurring. Anyway, it's 'fixed' now.
    – James
    Jul 15 '12 at 23:27
  • I'm having this same issue now, can't find anything about it online though.
    – Peanut
    Apr 1 '13 at 16:30

Guessing blindly without hands-on:

First check Windows Update for any optional updates and install them all (using still some common-sense), especially if they relate to time in any way. Sometimes Microsoft needs to fix a bug with daylight saving. (I assume of course that all important updates have already been installed.)

Second, right-click on the clock and choose "Adjust date/time". Go to Internet Time / Change settings. Ensure that "Automatically synchronize with an Internet Time Server" has been checked. Click on OK. Go back to Change settings and press Update now.

Is the time now correct ?

If not, you could try to temporarily disable the Windows firewall and try again to adjust the time using the Update now button, to see if it now works. If the problem is the firewall, you will need to Configure Windows Firewall to allow time protocol.

You could also try pool.ntp.org, although the correct name is uk.pool.ntp.org .

As an extra check, boot into the BIOS and check if the time there is correct. If correcting the BIOS clock fixes the problem, then the Windows time-sync is not working (although the firewall is the only reason for it that I can think of).

If you are dual-booting between Windows 7 and a non-Windows operating-system, this could also cause time-synchronization problems.

  • Thanks for the reply. All available updates are installed and so far as I can see, there aren't any additional KB updates on the MS site for this issue on Win7. Auto synchronisation is always set. The problem isn't hardware-based - before BST is in effect, the system time is managed fine. Just to clarify, when the system time is ahead and out of sync by a couple of minutes, I can update the time from the NTP servers and the problem is fixed. It recurs randomly, though (eg, a few days later).
    – James
    Mar 31 '12 at 22:33
  • I still have a problem understanding : Windows normally resyncs the time every day and you also say that after a resync the time is correct. So when actually does the 1 hour change happen ? (Immediately after boot or during the day) Another point is how, when there is a resync every day, can the time get out of phase by 2 minutes. Normally my computer time is more exact than my hand-watch.
    – harrymc
    Apr 1 '12 at 6:36
  • Almost certainly after a boot - but not all boots. That said, I've noticed whilst the machine's been on for a few hours. Whether it changed at boot or some other time during the machine's operation, I don't know. How it gets out of sync by a couple of mins is a mystery to me. I think I tried unticking the sync option last year which, from memory, didn't make a difference. I've tried it again today, to double-check that it doesn't make a difference. Like I say, this seems to be an issue that isn't confined to me - others have reported it, too.
    – James
    Apr 1 '12 at 11:03
  • (1) Tried syncing with time.windows.com just now and had an error, so it may be unreliable. Windows may then rely on BIOS time, which is where the problem lies. (2) Some clock problems can be caused by a rundown CMOS battery, if this is not a new computer, although normally time then runs slower rather than faster. (3) One test I can think of is from time to time to boot in Safe mode to see if this happens. If it never does, then this may be the fault of an installed application. (4) See if this thread helps.
    – harrymc
    Apr 1 '12 at 12:18
  • I'll check the BIOS time. I was under the impression that Windows controlled the BIOS time. I'm doubtful that this is a CMOS battery issue, as until BST kicks in, the laptop has never had a problem running in sync.
    – James
    Apr 3 '12 at 9:39

I tried my manufacturer's OEM distribution of Win7 Ultimate, rather than a generic OEM version, having had to reinstall it. So far, I've not had the date jump ahead an hour! How odd.

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