none
What's up with time.windows.com

    General discussion

  • Does anyone know why this doesn't work?  I run into it quite a lot.  Windows workstations and servers seem to ship with this value preconfigured in the registry for NTP.  But it never works.

    I read a thread from last summer in which the moderator (Mr. Arthur Xie) suggested it's caused by network settings, the firewall blocking it.  But I'm always the guy who controls the firewalls, so if NTP were being blocked I would be able to see it.  And without exception, whenever I edit the registry to change the value to time.nist.gov or time-a.nist.gov NTP instantly works.  That's not consistent with a firewall issue.

    Does time.windows.com require authentication?  Does the server even exist?  (DNS seems to resolve it.)

    I guess I'm curious why Microsoft ships their operating systems with a time server preconfigured that doesn't work.

    Ben
    Sunday, March 14, 2010 3:40 PM

All replies

  • I agree; it is not the most performing service Microsoft offers, it really often times out. But it is there, and it offers a Windows Time Service (which is very alike but not identical to NTP btw). I suppose the amount of client computers ia quite high for time.windows.com and that causes delays. I guess Microsofts primary concern is not providing millisecond precision on users desktop, but rather to have the default configuration not tho fail on the first kerberos handshake it needs! For that purpose even a weekly sync should suffice.

    You can find more infor on the Windows Time Service on http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773013(WS.10).aspx
    My recommendation would be to configure your client computers with a interanl trusetd time source, and have this server obtain its time from some trusted source. Even if the public trusted source becomes unavailable, all your clients would be in sync (all be it with a common skew)


    MCSA/MCTS/MCP
    Sunday, March 14, 2010 4:05 PM
  • Hi Ben,

    What is the error message when you try to sync time with the server?

    You can try to ping the website and see if any reply is received.

    Is your firewall installed in the Windows 7 system or a hardware firewall that is installed on the gateway side? I suggest you configure the firewall. Add the site time.windows.com specially to trust list if it is possible.


    Arthur Xie - MSFT
    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 6:36 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Arthur,

    Mostly I run into this with servers that aren't running local software firewalls.  99 times out of 100 I'm working with a hardware-based Pix or ASA firewall.

    With the servers I don't typically get an error message, it just never synchronizes.  Right now on my workstation (XP Pro) if I go into the time settings and select time.windows.com I get "An error occured while Windows was synchronizing with time.windows.com."  (I get the same thing with my 7 Pro laptop.)

    I'm not running a firewall on my computer itself, but my ASA isn't configured to block anything outbound, nor does it report anything blocked in the log files.  (I have it set to log everything it blocks.)

    As soon as I select either of the nist.gov servers from the dropdown list on either machine and select "Update Now" it succeeds in about five seconds.

    I can ping the time.windows.com address no problem from either workstation, so I know it's not a DNS issue.

     

    Ben

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010 3:53 PM
  • I've noticed this behavior, too. Not regularly, say in one third of the cases. The strange thing is, however: If I select "Update now", it may respond with the quoted error ("An error occurred while...") but the time is updated as it should.
    "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” (Thomas J. Watson, Sr.)
    Wednesday, March 24, 2010 11:32 PM
  • time.windows.com is notorious for being offline or unavailable. Choose your favorite NTP server and go with that. I believe Microsoft includes 'time.nist.gov' which works very well.
    Friday, April 02, 2010 12:23 AM
  • Hi Ben,

    What is the error message when you try to sync time with the server?

    You can try to ping the website and see if any reply is received.

    Is your firewall installed in the Windows 7 system or a hardware firewall that is installed on the gateway side? I suggest you configure the firewall. Add the site time.windows.com specially to trust list if it is possible.


    Arthur Xie - MSFT

    I'm shocked that anyone would question that ms time server never working. I have never seen it work in several hundred attempts. Once like another poster describes I did see it update the time even while returning the error message. This looks very bad on microsoft. There are legitimate reasons why I can only update clocks over the weekend so I only get a short window of time to get it done along with other maintenance functions. Microsoft time update simply never works and this is not new by any means.
    Friday, April 02, 2010 6:58 PM
  • I'm getting a timeout on time.windows.com right now. please forward this to the relevant MSFT group.

    C:\>tracert time.windows.com

    Tracing route to time.microsoft.akadns.net [65.55.21.17]
    over a maximum of 30 hops:

      1    30 ms    19 ms    14 ms  <redacted>
      2    13 ms    10 ms    12 ms  <redacted>
      3    12 ms    11 ms    15 ms  te-1-3-0-7-ar01.sfsutro.ca.sfba.comcast.net [68.85.154.70]
      4    33 ms    35 ms    23 ms  he-1-7-0-0-cr01.sanjose.ca.ibone.comcast.net [68.86.90.153]
      5    27 ms    36 ms    33 ms  pos-0-1-0-0-pe01.529bryant.ca.ibone.comcast.net [68.86.87.2]
      6    24 ms    68 ms    70 ms  as8075-1.529bryant.ca.ibone.comcast.net [75.149.230.46]
      7   184 ms   164 ms   183 ms  207.46.34.19
      8   249 ms   247 ms   167 ms  xe-0-1-2-0.by2-96c-1b.ntwk.msn.net [207.46.40.132]
      9   126 ms   151 ms   157 ms  ge-5-0-0-0.co1-64c-1a.ntwk.msn.net [207.46.40.190]
     10   183 ms   177 ms   128 ms  xe-0-1-0-0.co1-96c-1a.ntwk.msn.net [207.46.33.177]
     11   126 ms   133 ms    82 ms  10.22.8.14
     12     *        *        *     Request timed out.
     13     *        *        *     Request timed out.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012 6:44 PM
  • "spongman" wrote in message news:712589f1-7adf-4326-a9cc-75261874027b...

    I'm getting a timeout on time.windows.com right now. please forward this to the relevant MSFT group.

     
     
    90% of MS IP's are set to not return pings - your tracert is normal

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Wednesday, June 27, 2012 7:08 PM
  • I think, but I'm not sure, that it must only exist once a month or something - it will only exist when people are syncing their computer's time with it.
    Tuesday, April 09, 2013 5:43 PM
  • I was having problems setting up a home group. The trouble shooter finally alerted me that the time was not set correctly. I followed the Internet time updating procedure to no avail.

    I finally downloaded a trusted friend - D4 from Thinking Man Software. The problems went away.


    G G Gustafson

    Tuesday, August 27, 2013 3:11 PM