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I am having a huge problem with the clock on a Windows XP machine. Whether getting its time from the domain controller using w32time and an ntp server (PDC) / client, from a GPS clock directly using meinberg NTP client (ethernet), or the computer's internal clock only, we are getting times that are way off (on the order of minutes per hour, sometimes more, sometimes less). I'm at the point where I can't go a full day without it being refused from the PDC because of time inaccuracies. However, it doesn't seem to skew like this all the time. Unfortunately, the computer is almost constantly being used, and the applications that run on it are reasonably heavy (~30% average CPU load, ~60% average memory load), so I don't have the luxury of running, say, no applications for a day, then starting some, etc. to try and figure out what is going on. Does anyone have any remote/'hands-off' tips that I can use to monitor and pinpoint what is going on here? I used the meinberg monitoring tool to gather NTP information, and all that told me was that the clock was getting way off during the day and coming back slowly at night, which is another thing that makes me think a specific kind of usage is an issue. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

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    I have seen this several times on machines with failing hardware. Did you put a fresh CMOS battery in it? This is a physical desktop machine, right? If it's just bad hardware, bad battery, etc., then all you can do is replace the hardware. As a stop-gap, I have successfully set a scheduled task to run every 10 minutes on the machine that runs w32tm /resync, but that's just masking the underlying problem.
    – Ryan Ries
    Jul 30 '13 at 0:51
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    If it's a virtual machine, make sure that the integrated tools are not overriding your Windows Time settings. (i.e. that your hypervisor's time is also solid.)
    – Ryan Ries
    Jul 30 '13 at 1:04
  • I agreee that it sounds like hw failure or pending failure. Do you turn the box off ever? I think the CMOS battery is only needed if the box is turned off.
    – dfc
    Jan 8 '14 at 22:56

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