Synchronize time with external NTP server on Windows Server 2008 (R2)

Time synchronization is an important aspect for all computers on the network. By default, the client's computers get their time from a Domain Controller and the Domain Controller gets his time from the domain’s PDC Operation Master. Therefore the PDC must synchronize his time from an external source.

Before you begin, don’t forget to open the default UDP 123 port (in- and outbound) on your (corporate) firewall. I required our time sources between our storage devices, firewall and PDC to be synced, so now all devices get there time synced from the same source

  1. First, locate your PDC Server. Open the command prompt and type:
    netdom /query fsmo
  2. Log in to your PDC Server and open the command prompt.
  3. Stop the W32Time service:
    net stop w32time
  4. Configure the external time sources, type:
    w32tm /config /syncfromflags:manual /manualpeerlist:”0.pool.ntp.org, 1.pool.ntp.org, 2.pool.ntp.org”
  5. Make your PDC a reliable time source for the clients. Type:
    w32tm /config /reliable:yes
  6. Start the w32time service:
    net start w32time
  7. The windows time service should begin synchronizing the time. You can check the external NTP servers in the time configuration by typing:
    w32tm /query /configuration
  8. Check the Event Viewer for any errors.

his is what worked for me on our 2008R2 Standard SP1 Server:

Another way for line item 4.
w32tm /config /syncfromflags:manual /manualpeerlist:time.nist.gov /update /reliable:yes

I then did a query using:
w32tm /query /status

Leap Indicator: 0(no warning)
Stratum: 2 (secondary reference – syncd by (S)NTP)
Precision: -6 (15.625ms per tick)
Root Delay: 0.3060097s
Root Dispersion: 7.7757678s
ReferenceId: 0x808A8DAC (source IP: 128.138.141.172)
Last Successful Sync Time: 12/22/2012 9:44:22 PM
Source: time.nist.gov
Poll Interval: 6 (64s)

on Saturday July 21 by Peter Atkin
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