I have a single DC test environment at home and I am running on old hardware. One machine’s clock had gained 3 hours. That machine happened to be the domain controller. I am running Server 2012 R2 on all machines so i used powershell to run the following commands:

Check how far off the system time is from the ntp server at time.windows.com:

w32tm /stripchart /computer:time.windows.com /samples:5 /dataonly

Tell the system it is okay to sync its time with time.windows.com

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:time.windows.com /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update

Force the system to sync its clock

w32tm /resync

All other servers/computers in the domain sync their time with the Domain Controller that holds the PDC emulator role. This should fix time issues across the domain if run on the correct DC.

Hope you find this helpful!

PS. Traditionally you can use the command:

NET TIME /DOMAIN:<domainname> /set /y

to sync domain members with the DC holding the PDC role.

If that fails, you can force a sync to another server with either of these commands:

NET TIME \\<IP Address> /SET /Y


1 of 1

5 comments on: Force a Domain Controller to Sync its Clock with an External Time Server

  1. Kebbo

    Very informative and helpful. Your examples helped me solve my issue with syncing my time from an external source.

    • nbeam

      Awesome! Thanks for dropping a line 🙂

  2. PG

    Great.. Worked

  3. Jimmy

    Thanks for the info. Worked for me on Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter.

    • nbeam

      Props… it’s crazy to me (albeit not unbelievable in the least…) that there are still Windows Server 2008 R2 systems running out there in 2022 🙂

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *