[ntp:questions] Re: NTP 4.1.72 on W2K

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Thu Oct 28 03:06:33 UTC 2004

David wrote:

>Hi all, I am using Windows NT GUI installation
>(http://www.five-ten-sg.com/util/ntp4172.zip) on a Windows 2K server SP4 to
>synchronize some equipments on the LAN to UTC time.
>The W2K server ntp.conf file contents are.
>server iburst prefer
>fudge stratum 0 refid INET
>fudge stratum 3 refid LCL
>LAN equipments are synchronized with this W2K server, which is correctly
>synchronized to UTC.
>If I disconnect Internet access during 2 or 3 days I see that all LAN
>equipments remain synchronized with the W2K server. But after restoring
>Internet access again, I see that the W2K server was not synchronized with
>UTC. It was several seconds (sometimes minutes) advanced to UTC. I would
>like to keep machines synchronized to UTC although there is an Internet
>access failure during 2 or 3 days.
>Is it possible that the clock of a PC is so inaccurate? Even an old
>mechanical clock performs better!
>Has anybody noticed this behaviour before?
>Any idea or suggestion to solve this matter is welcomed!
>Best regards,
Welcome to the wonderful world of PC clocks and Windows.  Face it!  
Computers were not designed to act as accurate clocks!  Given the amount 
spent (about $2 US) per PC, it's a miracle that they keep time as well 
as they do.  The Windows operating system was not designed to keep time 
either!  You can mitigate the clock drift somewhat by keeping the 
temperature and the supply voltage stable.  You probably cannot make the 
clock stable enough to keep time accurate time for two days without 

If you need better time than you are getting, either get a stable 
internet connection or buy a hardware reference clock!  You might also 
be able to mitigate the problem by entrusting your timekeeping to an 
operating system somewhat better equipped to keep time than Windows (and 
I don't mean Linux).  Solaris 8, Intel Platform Edition does a 
reasonable job of keeping time on a PC.  I've never tried Free BSD but 
some people think highly of it.

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