[ntp:questions] Re: W2003 Server SP2 Problems with W32TM

Ry malayter at gmail.com
Wed Oct 11 14:46:48 UTC 2006

Danny Mayer wrote:
> The fact that you had to stop and start the service indicates how badly
> the net time interface was written. It doesn't take much to write code
> update information in the registry and then notify the service to go
> reread it and act accordingly.

This is probably why the NET TIME interface was deprecated in 2001
(WinXP) and replaced with:
    w32tm /configure <settings> /update

There is also a w32tm /resync command which instructs the service to
discard all previously calculated drift values and "start fresh".
Neither of these requires a service restart.

You'll notice that the more recent Windows Time Service documentation
(see link in previous messages) from MSFT doesn't even mention the NET
TIME command, which has been deprecated since the release of Windows XP
in 2001. NET TIME was originally designed for the Windows 95-era SMB
time protocol, which has nothing to do with NTP. Extending it for use
with (S)NTP was a bad choice, which Microsoft has at least tried to

W32TIME isn't perfect (the 2^-6 precision is troubling), but it is
mostly NTPv3 compliant in recent releases with proper configuration.
The diagnostics aren't sufficient, and configuration could be easier.
But at least they point to Microsoft's own time.windows.com servers by
default, limiting the impact of users simply ignoring it. In any case,
W32TIME in XP and later is a significant improvement over the Windows
2000-era version of "broken" SNTP.

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