Configuring your Forest Root Domain PDC with Alternate Time Sources

November 2, 2007

in AD, Microsoft, Server

Bob Drake from the MS Directory Services team has written a nice article explaining how to configure your Forest Root PDC to use multiple time servers in a primary/secondary configuration.  He also throws in a few debugging options as well.  A very good read.

Thanks Bob.


“Bob Drake from Microsoft again. Often we see situations where the forest root domain PDCE is configured to acquire time from a specified authoritative NTP source but cannot due to issues outside of the local network (IE: DNS, Routing). Typically the first signs of an issue are errors like Event ID 29:

“The time provider NtpClient is configured to acquire time from one or more time sources; however none of the sources are currently accessible.  No attempt to contact a source will be made for 14 minutes. NtpClient has no source of accurate time.”

This is because the computers cannot reach the NTP server.  What would be an easy resolution usually turns into unnecessary changes being made internally (usually registry configurations or topology) in attempts to fix the issue, making a bad situation worse. In an effort to avoid these scenarios there is a method to configure environments to have alternate NTP time server specified for fault tolerance to the W32Time service.  Let’s first see what the default settings are and how they work….”

Click here for the rest of the article…

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