Windows 2003 NTP Time Server

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Windows 2003 and the intergration of a NTP time server

Windows 2003 has an integrated time synchronisation service, installed by default, that can synchronise to a NTP Time Server. Indeed, by manipulating registry settings for the service it can act as both an SNTP client and server to synchronise other network clients.

The 'Windows Time' service should be present in the systems service list. The application executable is 'w32time.exe'. The parameter list for w32time can be found in the registry at:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time

To configure a Windows 2003 machine to synchronise to an external NTP server, edit the following registry entries:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Parameters\Type

Set value to NTP.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Config\AnnounceFlags

Set the value to 5 for reliable time source

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\TimeProviders\NTPClient\SpecialPollInterval

Set this to the preiod in seconds that the Windows 2003 machine should poll the NTP server. A recommended value is 900 seconds which equates to every 15 minutes.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\TimeProviders\NTPServer\Enabled

Change this value to 1.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Parameters\NtpServer

Provide a list of IP address or DNS names, seperated by a space, of NTP server that the Windows 2003 machine can synchronise to.

More information on the Windows 2003 Time service can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042/

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