I can never seem to remember how to do this on 2008, so herewith instructions (copied from above link):

Time synchronization is an important aspect for all computers on the network. By default, the clients computers get their time from a Domain Controller and the Domain Controller gets his time from the domain’s PDC Operation Master. Therefore the PDC must synchronize his time from an external source. I usually use the servers listed at the NTP Pool Project website. Before you begin, don’t forget to open the default UDP 123 port (in- and outbound) on your firewall.

  1. First, locate your PDC Server. Open the command prompt and type: C:\>netdom /query fsmo
  2. Log in to your PDC Server and open the command prompt.
  3. Stop the W32Time service: C:\>net stop w32time
  4. Configure the external time sources, type: C:\> w32tm /config /syncfromflags:manual /manualpeerlist:”,,”
  5. Make your PDC a reliable time source for the clients. Type: C:\>w32tm /config /reliable:yes
  6. Start the w32time service: C:\>net start w32time
  7. The windows time service should begin synchronizing the time. You can check the external NTP servers in the time configuration by typing: C:\>w32tm /query /configuration
  8. Check the Event Viewer for any errors.

If you’re in South Africa, then pick one of the stratum 2 server on the following website:

At the time of writing, they are:

Stratum-2 Servers

Server DNS name Location Hosted by OS Platform Upstream ISP Pretoria CSIR FreeBSD Internet Solutions Johannesburg Internet Solutions UNIX / FreeBSD Internet Solutions Cape Town Internet Solutions UNIX / FreeBSD Internet Solutions Cape Town SAIX Solaris SAIX Johannesburg M-Web Cisco Internet Solutions Cape Town MTN Business FreeBSD MTN Business New Doornfontein, Jhb MTN Business FreeBSD MTN Business Cape Town MTN Business FreeBSD MTN Business


Tags: , ,

Categories: Information Technology ,SBS 2008 ,SBS 2011 ,Windows Server

6 Responses to “Server 2008 R2 – Setup external NTP (time) servers”

  1. Sam says:

    Also remember that your firewall should allow outbound port 123 (UDP) for NTP

  2. Sam says:

    Also ensure member servers are configured to sync with the PDC Server (default setting):

    c:\>net stop w32time
    c:\>w32tm /config /syncfromflags:DOMHIER
    c:\>net start w32time

  3. Gary says:

    These commands also work for Windows Server Enterprise 2008 SP2 (non-R2). I had to remove the commas, providing only spaces between each server address in the string (( /manualpeerlist:”” )) because the commas appeared in the configuration details for each peer as part of the name.

  4. Lize says:

    Note the list above is outdate. See the list for updated servers.

  5. James says:

    Awesome Works perfectly on 2008R2 Thank you!

  6. TahoC. says:

    Guys, w32time is OK for not critical time precision needs otherwise I would recommend you taking look at something like

Leave a Reply