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Server 2003 not Maintaining Time


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#1 fettermanj

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 17:36

I have a Windows 2003 Server that is not part of the domain. For some reason, it does not maintain the correct time. I can manually set the time, and an hour later it has only advanced a few minutes. Any ideas as to why it does not advance correctly? The server has all the latest updates. The time in the Bios was off by an hour but I corrected that. Anyone have any ideas?


#2 xendrome

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 17:39

Sounds like the CMOS battery is going bad or is bad. Or possibly the RTC clock chip/bios has a problem.. Replace the CMOS battery first.

#3 Farchord

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 17:44

Sounds like the CMOS battery is going bad or is bad. Or possibly the RTC clock chip/bios has a problem.. Replace the CMOS battery first.


Yes but while the system is on that shouldn't be a problem....

#4 OP fettermanj

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 17:47

Yes but while the system is on that shouldn't be a problem....


That is what I thought as well. It runs 24/7. I believe I fixed the time on it last Friday, and by today, it had only advanced an hour from when I corrected it.

#5 xendrome

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 17:50

Yes but while the system is on that shouldn't be a problem....


I would tend to agree, but I wouldn't rule it out, I'd still replace the battery. If the battery doesn't fix it, then the RTC clock chip is probably faulty..

#6 cybertimber2008

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 17:51

So if you changed it at 12:00n 8/10/2012, it currently shows 1:00p 8/10/2012 ? Same *date*, but only one hour has elapsed on the server in a week?

If you can withstand the server being down for awhile, boot it into the BIOS and leave it there. If yours is like mine, it should show the clock changing. See if it keeps real time there.

Edit: I also agree w/ changing the battery.

#7 +Chicane-UK

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 17:54

Just to be sure, it's not a Virtual Machine is it?

Is the server internet connected? As a work around, you could configure it to sync it's time against an NTP source on a very regular basis (say every hour).

#8 sc302

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 18:03

vm guest will pull off of the host. If you have the wrong time zone set and have a ntp server set it will show the wrong time shortly after you reset it. if you loose it at shutdown/boot up it is the cmos.

#9 ShMaunder

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 18:06

I had the same problem some time back. It kept loosing time and date even though it was on 24/7 (sometimes it would only advance a couple of mins other times it would reset back to 1980). I blamed it on the 8 year old mb. I had to sync with an NTP server every couple of minutes to "workaround" it.

#10 OP fettermanj

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 19:00

I had the same problem some time back. It kept loosing time and date even though it was on 24/7 (sometimes it would only advance a couple of mins other times it would reset back to 1980). I blamed it on the 8 year old mb. I had to sync with an NTP server every couple of minutes to "workaround" it.


How did you set that up?

#11 ShMaunder

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 19:16

How did you set that up?


Opened up the registry then manually configured some values. It was about 2 years ago and cannot remember specific keys though Google can find them.

This might be it:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\TimeProviders\NTPClient\SpecialPollInterval
Set this to the period in seconds that the Windows 2003 machine should poll the NTP server. A recommended value is 900 seconds which equates to every 15 minutes.

http://www.timetools...-ntp-server.htm

#12 n_K

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 19:23

Sounds like the MB crystal has gone, happened to me on a dell poweredge 6350, and a 2650 ironically... Only way to fix it would be to replace the motherboard with a good motherboard or de-solder the crystal (once you find it) and replace it with a new one.
***IT HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH THE CMOS BATTERY***

Or do the NTP method described above.

#13 +BudMan

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 22:06

"had to sync with an NTP server every couple of minutes to "workaround" it."

This is NOT how you would do it.. This is not how ntp is designed to work. You don't skew time every couple of minutes to a good source. You let ntp running on your box do what its designed to do, and that is adjust your local clock to run in sync with your known good source.

So I have a box on my local network that syncs with stratum 1 and 2 servers. it will pick the best one.

ntpq> pe
	 remote		   refid	  st t when poll reach   delay   offset  jitter
==============================================================================
+ntp-1.gw.illino 128.174.38.133   2 u  153 1024  377   40.708   -3.994   3.666
-ntp.mya.org	 128.252.19.1	 2 u 1020 1024  377   21.956   -8.355  16.117
-cloud.hostmist. 128.10.19.24	 2 u  212 1024  377   14.443  -10.510   4.463
+ntp.your.org	.CDMA.		   1 u   55 1024  377   36.940   -4.481   3.222
+saturn.netwrx1. .PPS.			1 u  940 1024  377   42.876   -5.447   3.414
*nist.netservice .ACTS.		   1 u  363 1024  377   20.677   -0.521   3.316


* is the one it is currently using.

Those offsets are in milliseconds. currently from that the box is off 0.000521 seconds from that nist server.

I then use this box as my timesource for all other boxes on my network, while also letting people that are using pool.ntp.org to use my server as their timesource. Both IPv4 and IPv6

So here is graph of pool.ntp.org monitoring my server - you will see I had some internet issues earlier in the week. and a blip earlier today. But the green line is offset from their server checking time on my server compared to theirs. That scale on left is milliseconds. Notice it doing a cyclic sort of thing between. And your talking tiny ms offsets here

ntpgraph.jpg

ts_epoch,ts,offset,step,score
1345238809,"2012-08-17 21:26:49",0.00477278232574463,1,17.2
1345237599,"2012-08-17 21:06:39",0.00335252285003662,1,17
1345236383,"2012-08-17 20:46:23",0.00328588485717773,1,16.9
1345235176,"2012-08-17 20:26:16",0.00205540657043457,1,16.7
1345233975,"2012-08-17 20:06:15",0.00193977355957031,1,16.6

I have better logs on the box itself, but a bit difficult to get to here from work. So these will work as my examples. See the top entry there is that is .004 of a second off from their server.

ntp running on my server will adjust the local clock to run either slower or faster as it checks on the ntp servers you point it to, to work towards keeping better time. If you just adjust the clock every couple of minutes - it does nothing to help your local clock run better.

You can grab a windows version of ntp here
http://www.meinberg....lish/sw/ntp.htm

Nice easy to understand instructions, even has a nice windows install and gui to make adjustments to your config. its got a monitoring tool there as well
http://www.meinberg....ver-monitor.htm

if you want to update the version of ntp from the 4.2.4p8 they provide you can grab it here
http://www.davehart.net/ntp/win/x86/

He has windows compiles for versions current and going way back. current version is 4.2.7p295 2012/08/11 davehart has http://www.davehart....win-x86-bin.zip which is pretty close to current available.

You can get lists of servers here - pick a few close to you that are listed as open to the public, some want you to email them, etc.

http://support.ntp.o...mOneTimeServers

Or you could just point to pool.ntp.org -- which uses servers like mine as source.

But again I would not suggest you setup a skew every couple of minutes -- setup up ntp, grab a port from above and use it vs the very limited tool that comes with windows.

Ntp will start of talking to the servers ever 64 seconds or so, and then that will increase in length - you can adjust these min and max poll times.. I think I have mine hard coded to 1024 max currently because I was having some issues where it would just drift and was looking into that so I hard coded max poll. 1024 seconds is 17 some minutes.

NTP is one of my fav play protocols - like DNS, so happy to help you get your box running with NTP correctly if you want, just ask.. PM me if you want. Happy to help!

#14 OP fettermanj

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 13:00

Thanks for your help everyone!

#15 +BudMan

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 13:42

And?? Your now keeping good time how?