Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have 2 DC's. One is virtual, one is physical. The time on my domain is running fast. I suspect this is due to one of the DC's being virtual.

How can I set the domain to use the physical DC as the time master?

Edit: I mean the domain time is in sync, all DC's & all work stations have the exact same time. However the time is fast compared to an accutate time source for comparison (ie Cell phone), so today it's 30min fast, tomorrow it's 35min fast, the day after 40min, etc.

share|improve this question
What do you mean "The time on my domain is running fast"? Time is relative. The time is fast relative to what? Do you mean that the time on domain members is out of sync? – joeqwerty Apr 23 '12 at 1:09
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You should transfer the PDC emulator FSMO role to the physical domain controller.

This is done by opening the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in on the physical domain controller (or by specifically targeting it). Right click on the domain itself, choose operations masters, and transfer the role.

Then you should follow this:

and point that PDC emulator DC to NIST, or Microsoft, or Apple or whoever you want as your time source.

Once this is done, all other domain controllers will sync to the time on the DC with the PDC emulator role, and workstations will sync to whichever domain controller responds to the SRV record lookups.

Other good reading (yes, you really should read it):

share|improve this answer
Oh and while you're at it... point NTP on your virtualization host and any other non-domain-managed devices to your DC for time synchronization as well, that way logs line up when you troubleshoot an issue. – SpacemanSpiff Apr 23 '12 at 0:38
You can also reference THIS question:… – SpacemanSpiff Apr 23 '12 at 0:39
Good answer.. And all the time I have folks tell me the time issues with virtual DCs have been fully worked out. – Tim Brigham Apr 23 '12 at 2:14
Ehh... its not as bad as it used to be, but if you can have a physical one, why even deal with it? – SpacemanSpiff Apr 23 '12 at 2:16
I moved all the roles to the physical DC but the physical DC was still resetting it's time to that of the virtual DC. I did set the virtual DC to not sync with the host and did windows updates so with reboots maybe the time will be correct. We'll see in the morning. – me2011 Apr 26 '12 at 3:41

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.