Spectracom - Essential Ingenuity

Synchronizing Windows Computers

Tutorial Steps

Spectracom's "Synchronizing Windows Computers" Tech Note takes you step-by-step through the configuration procedures for the network PCs. The Application Note can also be viewed/printed from our web-site at: Synchronizing Windows Computers.

Refer to the Table of Contents at the beginning of the document for the applicable section in which to use, based on the specific version of Windows being synchronized to the NTP server.
For your information:
  •  Section 10 of this document contains troubleshooting information for assistance if one or more PCs are not able to synchronize to the NTP time server.
  • Section 11 of this document contains information on a better method than the Windows Time Service for synchronizing PCs. Spectracom offers a suite of software known as PresenTense software.  The programs in this software suite provide many advantages of time synchronization that are not available with the Windows Time Service.   For more information on the PresenTense software or to obtain free 30 day evaluation versions of the PresenTense software, refer to: http://spectracom.com/products-services/precision-timing/synchronization-software or contact our Sales department at 585-321-5800.
 If a PC doesn’t appear to be syncing to the NTP server, open a command prompt window on that PC.  Then:
  • For Windows XP, 2000 and 2003,  type the following phrase: net time /query <enter>. The PC should respond with either the IP address of the NTP server (followed by ,”0x8”) or the name/IP address of the domain controller.  If it comes back with values such as “time.windows.com”, or, the IP address of the NTP server followed by “,0x1” (instead of “,0x8” ) or no value after the IP address of the NTP server, the PC is no longer configured to sync to either the NTP server or the DC
  • For Windows 2008, 7 and higher, type the following phrase: w32tm /query /status <enter>:
                        You should get the following similar results:
            Leap Indicator: 0(no warning)
            Stratum: 2 (secondary reference - syncd by (S)NTP)
            Precision: -6 (15.625ms per tick)
            Root Delay: 0.0312500s
            Root Dispersion: 2.7839913s
            ReferenceId: 0x0A0008C8 (source IP:
            Last Successful Sync Time: 7/17/2012 8:45:28 AM
            Source: xxx.xxx.xxxx.xxx,0x8  ( where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is the IP address of the time server)
            Poll Interval: 6 (64s) 

Note: if it responds with “local cmos”, the Windows Time service needs to be stopped and restarted.  Stop and restart W32Time (net stop w32time, net start w32time).  Then send the resync command again (w32tm /resync).  This time it should sync.

There is a known potential issue with the Windows Time Service that can cause this to happen, on its own.  Refer to the Troubleshooting section, “Condition 1” of the linked Windows document for more information about this and a link to a Microsoft hotfix for this issue.  For an even better fix, refer to Section 11 regarding the Spectracom PresenTense software.
To resync a PC to the NTP server again:  Refer to the Table of Contents at the beginning of this document and find the version of Windows installed on the PC.  This will tell you which specific Section of the document to follow, in order to point the PC back to the IP address of the NTP server.  It will walk you step-by-step through this process.

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