[ntp:questions] Seeking "net time" Response without Active Directory

Danny Mayer mayer at ntp.isc.org
Fri Jan 4 04:43:23 UTC 2008

gcatlin at ix.netcom.com wrote:
> Martin, Danny, and Ryan, thank you for the suggestions.  The
> punchclock software we use is pcEntry by Paychex.  Below are some
> points that my original post overlooked.
> 1. We do have Windows servers; but our workstations, a combo of (a)
> Win2000 with no firewall, (b) WinXP with the Windows Firewall and an
> exception for 'File and Print Sharing,' and (c) a couple Vista boxes,
> are not receiving a reply to "net time". It had been my understanding
> that to receive a reply to "net time" required on a domain controller,
> and we don't have any of them.

Installing ntpd solves these problems.

> 2. Our servers get the time from ntp sources, but it's my
> understanding that being ntp-aware isn't enough to cause a Windows
> workstation to receive a reply when they issue a "net time" query.
> 3. I did not know that if we enable samba on our Linux server we could
> have our 'net time' requests replied to.  I'll try to figure out how
> to do that.
> 4. The reason we need to continually synchronize our devices during
> the day to a reliable time source is because we have devices with
> internal clocks that drift +/- quite a bit during a workday.  The
> people with the fast clocks wave 'goodbye' to those with the slow
> clocks as they head out the door; the people with the slow clocks
> grunt and blame the network administrator.  A hundred or so
> workstations are involved; so various registry tweeks to increase the
> frequency of the "Internet Time' in Control Panel 'Date and Time'
> would be too much of a headache.

This is normal. The computer manufacturers put no effort into getting
good clock hardware and buy the cheapest that they can find. NTP is
designed to deal with this and keep the clocks disciplined so that they
never drift. That's why it would be worth your while to install NTP so
you don't have this problem.

> 5. If we get "net time" to work, then all local stations (punchclocks)
> should the same time, effectively locking down the time used for
> punches. That would be good because someone was fired here a few years
> ago for advancing their clock by an hour or so, punching out and
> leaving.  We do not want to offer that temptation.

On Windows, you can set the privileges so that noone has the privilege
to change the time, except for an adminstrator (and ntpd).

> Glenn in NJ

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