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w32tm or 'net time'

    Question

  • Hello,
    I have been using the following command in a script as part of an automated deployment process for both server 2003 and server 2008:

    net time /setsntp:server.domain.name

    I have since come across the w32tm command and so I am revisiting the question of which to use for configuring the time source for my deployment process.

    1. is there any problems with using the net time command? I ran w32tm /query /source on one of the 2k8 machines that was deployed with the system and it does reflect the source that was set via net time... I did not check a 2k3 one yet

    2. what is the 'recommended' tool for this?

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009 2:33 PM

Answers

  • Hi c0pe,

     

    Based on your questions, I highly recommended you use the "w32tm" to deploy the Windows Time service in your environment.

     

    Here are some reasons for your reference. As far as I know, the “Net Time” command is supposed to work for Windows 2000 based machines. It uses the protocol called Simple Network Time Protocol or SNTP which means it’s a “simple” version of NTP and lacks some of the more complex algorithms which provide more accurate and stable time for NTP clients. For Windows Server 2003 / Windows XP or above machines, they use NTP instead of SNTP. Alongside that they now have a new way of configuring the WTS (w32tm).

     

    According to your questions, please check the answers here for your reference.

     

    1. Is there any problems with using the net time command? I ran w32tm /query /source on one of the 2k8 machines that was deployed with the system and it does reflect the source that was set via net time... I did not check a 2k3 one yet?

                    A: Yes, the Windows 2008 machines uses the w32tm and NTP protocol to sync time from the time source.

     

    1. What is the 'recommended' tool for this?

    A: Generally speaking, you should deploy the time service machines via the w32tm service for Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 machines. You can configure your PDC Emulator to synchronize time with an external standard time server, such as time.windows.com.

    Refer to KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042/en-us

     

    For more information about the Windows Time service:

    How to configure the Windows Time Service against a large time offset:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/884776/

    Registry entries for the W32Time Service:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q223184/

    How to configure Debug logging:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816043/


    Wilson Jia - MSFT
    • Marked as answer by c0pe Thursday, July 16, 2009 2:42 PM
    Thursday, July 16, 2009 7:06 AM

All replies

  • Hi c0pe,

     

    Based on your questions, I highly recommended you use the "w32tm" to deploy the Windows Time service in your environment.

     

    Here are some reasons for your reference. As far as I know, the “Net Time” command is supposed to work for Windows 2000 based machines. It uses the protocol called Simple Network Time Protocol or SNTP which means it’s a “simple” version of NTP and lacks some of the more complex algorithms which provide more accurate and stable time for NTP clients. For Windows Server 2003 / Windows XP or above machines, they use NTP instead of SNTP. Alongside that they now have a new way of configuring the WTS (w32tm).

     

    According to your questions, please check the answers here for your reference.

     

    1. Is there any problems with using the net time command? I ran w32tm /query /source on one of the 2k8 machines that was deployed with the system and it does reflect the source that was set via net time... I did not check a 2k3 one yet?

                    A: Yes, the Windows 2008 machines uses the w32tm and NTP protocol to sync time from the time source.

     

    1. What is the 'recommended' tool for this?

    A: Generally speaking, you should deploy the time service machines via the w32tm service for Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 machines. You can configure your PDC Emulator to synchronize time with an external standard time server, such as time.windows.com.

    Refer to KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042/en-us

     

    For more information about the Windows Time service:

    How to configure the Windows Time Service against a large time offset:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/884776/

    Registry entries for the W32Time Service:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q223184/

    How to configure Debug logging:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816043/


    Wilson Jia - MSFT
    • Marked as answer by c0pe Thursday, July 16, 2009 2:42 PM
    Thursday, July 16, 2009 7:06 AM
  • Hi Wilson, thanks for the reply.

    I will definitely use w32tm moving forward. I'm wondering though, as for the machines I've already configured via 'net time'... if 2003/2008 use ntp, does setting the time source with the 'net time' command make it use sntp, or would ntp still be used? I'm *guessing* ntp would still be used... and maybe the ability to set the source via 'net time' is there for backward compatibility? Does anyone know if this is the case? For example, my sample server had its time source set via 'net time /setsntp:serverIP' but if I query for the time source with w32tm it shows that same source is set? Can anyone confirm my *guess* is correct?

    thanks again.
    Thursday, July 16, 2009 2:42 PM