More NTP time issues with Windows 2008 R2

I have an Active Directory with two Win2K8R2 domain controllers. I have the primary domain controller get it’s time from time.nist.gov, and the other domain controller gets it’s time from the primary. All member servers and workstations get their time from “the domain”.

So every few weeks it seems, I’ll get up on a Saturday and the time on my workstation is off by like 8-20 minutes, as it was this morning.

I tried all the obvious steps one might take in this case, such as:

  • Running w32tm /resync on the primary DC
  • Verifying/starting the w32time service
  • Ping the NTP server that the time service points to, etc…

Nothing worked, I would keep getting “The computer did not resync because no time data was available.”. Ultimately, I found this little tool on MSDN/TechNet:

How to configure an authoritative time server in Windows Server
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042

and there is a download about half-way down that will correctly adjust your NTP settings.

Now, in this case, the underlying problem was that on my primary DC, the NetLogon service will start in a “Paused” state every time I reboot (I think), which explains why this happens every once in a while. It’s only after a reboot, after patches were installed. I still need to figure that out, but if starting up that service, then starting the WIndows Time Service doesn’t do it – the page above may help.

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