Setting the Network Time Protocol source

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How to change NTP time source for a server via command prompt

Posted on 6 April 2016 by Beaming Support

If you are alerted to a server that is displaying the wrong time, the following may be of use.

When you need to change NTP time source for a server, use the specific commands in this article, which refer to the following operating systems; Windows Server 2008 R2 and SBS 2011.

If you have multiple servers on a domain, please ensure you know which server has the source NTP configured, as you will need to perform the commands on that server.  If you are unsure, you can issue a command that will query the time service and display some information for you.

Firstly open a command prompt as an administrator and type the following:

w32tm /query /status

Within the displayed output, the second to last item should be source and could state the following:

  • Local CMOS Clock
  • windows.com (typically default)
  • The hostname of the source server (if more than 1 server exists on the domain)

If you wish to test a different NTP server pool you can use the following website to identify one for your location:

http://support.ntp.org/bin/view/Servers/NTPPoolServers

Once you have identified the hostname, you can issue the command below to amend the source:

Please note this must also be from an elevated command prompt

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:chosenhostname

Please see an example below that would change the source to a UK based pool:

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:uk.pool.ntp.org

The time service will now need to be restarted, please see the commands below:

net stop w32time
net start w32time

Once this has been done, you can run the initial query command to confirm the amended source is now in place.

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