i have a biztalk - window service tied middleware application which talks to other system.

recently we had a request to test for scenarios which relates to the date.

as we have a lot of places in the application which uses the .net Datetime.Now value, we don't really want to go into the code level and change all these values.

so we're looking at the simplest way to test which is to just change the OS time.

but what we notice is that sometimes when we change the system date time, we will get account lock out due to Active Directory.

  1. So my question is what's a good and safe way that i can test for future dates, etc by changing the windows OS system date time but without causing any issues with the Active Directory.
  2. And where can i find out more about AD and how it issues token and what's the correlation with the system date time changes.

Thanks! ~m

  • To be honest, this seems like it would get better answers on Stack Overflow. How to test $Application should be within their remit.
    – user9517
    Nov 23 '12 at 7:55

One thing you can try is to disable Kerberos authentication and see if NTLM auth will work for your testing. NTLM auth does not have the same time sync requires and might get you what you need.

For date testing of mission critical systems I've always setup a test domain that was isolated from the normal production Domain Controllers and set the date & time accordingly. This has the benefits of keeping logs clean on your production domain controllers and help insure the fidelity of your test results. Virtual machines are a great way to copy your production systems into a test environment. If you do use VMs note that the guest OSes typically sync to the hardware clock of their physical host.

For more info on AD and time sync do a search on: Windows kerberos time skew

Good luck


I've had a similar problem for a long time that I inherited from a predecessor changing timezones on child domain controllers to allow time-shifted testing, I can't highly recommend you don't do that! There may be some advice in the answers to my question that may help.

The solution I eventually ended going with was to use a piece of software called Time Machine. I spent ages looking for other solutions and never managed to find one.

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