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Beagle Software
Minneapolis, MN, USA

 
 

Using the Windows Time Client (w32time) while running ClockWatch as an SNTP Timeserver

Beginning with Windows 2000, Windows has included a time synchronization service Windows Time (w32time.exe). This service uses the SNTP protocol and can be used in conjunction with ClockWatch Server. In the Client/Server configuration described below, ClockWatch Server acts as the network timeserver for other computers on the network. The following information discusses the simple steps to set up a network that keeps in sync.
 

Basically, to synchronize a  network, you need a master clock (the time server) and slave clocks (time clients).   The timeserver gets the exact time from an external source and maintains the timeserver at the correct time. It also handles time requests from the clients.

In this case both the Server and the client are communicating with each other using the SNTP protocol which normally uses User Datagram Protocol (UDP) port 123.

 

Steps on configuring ClockWatch Server and Windows Time Client
Setting up the Timeserver  
Setting up the Time Clients: Window XP/2003
Windows 2000
Windows NT
Windows 95/98/ME
Time Synchronization settings in a Domain  
Starting and Stopping the Time Service  

 


Setting Up ClockWatch as the Timeserver

1) Load ClockWatch Server on the designated time server. This does not have to be a "server" other than it should normally be turned on and be visible by all the clients on the local network.

2) Configuring ClockWatch server to act as an SNTP timeserver

  1. Open the Clients options tab in ClockWatch Server

  2. Enable "Listen for Clients" if not already checked

  3. Set the communication port number to "123"

  4. select  "SNTP" as the client protocol

  5. press 'OK' to save the changes


Client Options Tab in ClockWatch

3) Turn off the Windows Time Service on the timeserver. This program will conflict with ClockWatch actimg as a timeserver and must be disabled. You must also change the startup type to 'Manual' to prevent it from starting the next time you reboot Windows. You can administer Services from the Control Panel.

4) The trial version of ClockWatch Server will only accept time requests from a single client. Contact Beagle Software for a free utility to allow your trial timeserver to handle multiple clients.

 


Configuring Windows Clients to work with the Timeserver

Windows XP/2003

If your computer is a member of a domain, your computer clock is probably synchronized automatically by a network time server. If your computer is not a member of a domain, you can synchronize your computer clock with an Internet time server

This procedure provides information on switching to a different  timeserver.

To change the clock synchronization server.

  1. Open Date and Time in Control Panel.

  2. Click the Internet Time tab.

    The Internet Time tab is not available if your computer is a member of a domain. See time synchronization in a domain.

  3. Select the Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server check box.
  4. In the Server box, enter the name of the ClockWatch timeserver configured in the step above. Use the network name of the computer (or the IP address).
  5. Click Update Now to test the connection to the timeserver.

 Notes

  • To open Date and Time, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Date and Time.
  • Internet time synchronization updates your clock on a regular basis, but only when you are connected to the network. It takes just a moment and should not interfere with your work.

Windows 2000

Windows 2000 (Professional and Server) use a time synchronization service to synchronize the date and time of computers running on a Windows 2000-based network.

If you are using Active Directory -
Synchronized time is critical in Window 2000 because the default authentication protocol (MIT Kerberos version 5) uses workstation time as part of the authentication ticket generation process. If your Windows 2000 clients belong to a Windows 2000 Active Directory Domain see time synchronization in a domain.


If the Windows 2000 clients belong to a workgroup -

you can manually configure the time synchronization settings:
 

Setting the timeserver
You can set the timeserver  using the following net time command with the setsntp option, where server_name is the DNS server name, and  ':' is the required conjunction.
net time /setsntp:server_name

Alternatively, you can use the server's IP address:
net time /setsntp:server_IP

For example if the server name was 'beagle' you would issue the following command:
net time /setsntp:beagle

You can then test the connection to the timeserver by typing:
w32tm –once

To check which timeserver you're currently using, type:
net time /querysntp

 

Turning on the Time Service

To synchronize with the timeserver the Time Service must be running on the client.  You can start and stop the Time Service using the Windows Control Panel

You can also start and stop the time service using the net start/stop command:

To manually start W32Time using net start at the command prompt, type:
net start w32time

To manually stop W32Time using net stop at the command prompt, type:
net stop w32time

 

Windows NT The Win32 Network Time Synchronization Service (W32Time.exe) was not part of the base configuration in Windows NT. It  was included in the Windows NT Resource Kit utilities.  Refer to the program documentation for configuration to another timeserver. Alternatively, you can use the ClockWatch Client

Windows 95/98/Me

The Win32 Network Time Synchronization Service does not run on Windows 95/98/Me. We suggest you use the ClockWatch Client for client time synchronization.

   

Time Synchronization in a Domain

The following describes how to configure an authoritative time server in Windows 2000/XP/2003.

Windows includes the W32Time Time service tool that is required by the Kerberos authentication protocol. The purpose of the Time service is to ensure that all computers that are running Windows 2000 or later in an organization use a common time. Administrators can configure an internal time server as authoritative by using the net time command. The Time service uses a hierarchical relationship that controls authority.

Windows-based computers use the following hierarchy by default:

  • All client desktop computers nominate the authenticating domain controller as their in-bound time partner.

  • All member servers follow the same process as client desktop computers.

  • Domain controllers may nominate the primary domain controller (PDC) operations master as their in-bound time partner but may use a parent domain controller based on stratum numbering.

  • All PDC operations masters follow the hierarchy of domains in the selection of their in-bound time partner.

Following this hierarchy, the PDC operations master at the root of the forest becomes authoritative for the organization, and you should configure the PDC operations master to gather the time from an external source. This is logged in the System event log on the computer as event ID 62.

Administrators can configure the Time service on the PDC operations master at the root of the forest to recognize an external Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP) time server as authoritative by using the following net time command with the setsntp option, where server_name is the DNS server name:
net time /setsntp:server_name

Alternatively, you can use the server's IP address:
net time /setsntp:server_IP

For example if the server name was 'beagle' you would issue the following command:
net time /setsntp:beagle

You can then test the connection by typing:
w32tm –once


Setting the Domain Client

For example, you can use your ClockWatch timeserver (clockwatch_server_name) for this function. After you set the SNTP time server as authoritative, run either of the following commands on a computer other than the domain controller to reset the local computer's time against the authoritative time server, where clockwatch_server_name is the network name of your ClockWatch timeserver:
net time /clockwatch_server_name /set
 

Type the following commands, pressing ENTER after each command:
net stop w32time
w32tm –once
net start w32time


For more information about the net time command type:
net time /?

Reference: Microsoft KB articles: 224799, 216734, 31054


Starting and Stopping Windows Time Service from the Control Panel

To manually start W32Time using the Control Panel

  1. From the Start menu, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.

  2. Double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Services.

  3. Select Windows Time from the list of services.

  4. On the Action menu, click Start to begin the service.

To manually stop W32Time using the Control Panel

  1. Follow steps 1 through 3 in the previous procedure.

  2. On the Action menu, click Stop to discontinue the service.

  3. Change the Startup type from 'Automatic' to 'Manual' to prevent Windows time from starting automatically the next time you reboot.


The Windows Time listing in the Services applet of the Windows Control Panel

 

ClockWatch Client/Server - Main Page
Frequently Asked Questions about Client/Server
Multi-platform time synchronization
(including IBM, Mac, Novell, Linux and Unix)
ClockWatch - Product Index


 
 

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