How do I synchronize and ensure that the workstations have accurate DateTime synchronized when needed?

We have to change workstation date-time for testing some apps. How do I ensure back original date-time with accuracy? I've heard there are some date-time servers using which I can get the current accurate date-time within my time-zone.



Based on your phrasing, you want local control of the time source and not use one of the atomic clock sources found on the internet. What you want to do is set one machine as a time reference and then set all of your other machines to pull their time from it.

Setup machine as time reference:


NTP Client:


Non-windows machines will have a similar setup. Just do some quick digging on google for NTP.


you can use a ntp server. on Linux you can use ntpd wich is a client and a ntp server. for example: my ntp is i just have to put in the ntp.conf of every client: server and restart the ntpd service on each of them and they will sync their date time with my ntp server :

you can as well synchronise windows client, using the same way, in windows XP it is called 'network time server' as far as i remember. more info on ntp at : http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~mills/ntp.html

hope this helps

  • With NTP you can also use a GPS to get the time. – brunoqc May 26 '09 at 19:34
  • that's exactly what we do, but it costs a lot to have a GPS system as an ntp server :) – Xinity May 27 '09 at 7:42

If you are using Active Directory, use the domain controller as the authoritative time server.


If its a member of the domain I believe Active Directory handles time synchronization as Kerberos is dependent upon that. But there might be a registry entry to disable that for your testing. However, once you are done, I would let windows take care of it.


ntp is your friend.

Windows since XP has had an internal client, you should just use that, and as others have said if you run AD always have clients sync of the DC's, then have the DC's sync off reliable unix hosts that get their time from the pool.

*nix generally runs "ntpd" which works well, if your ISP runs ntp servers use those, otherwise go for pool.ntp.org

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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