Domain controller time synchronization

Here is a scenario that I have run into a few times.  An Active Directory environment where the PDC (Primary Domain Controller) Emulator role is hosted on a virtualized domain controller that is running on Hyper-V.  It is perfectly acceptable to do this, however it is very likely  that the environment will suffer from time drift.  In some cases this it can be a big problem.  Here is a solution I have tested and found to work well.

  1. Remove time synchronization for the PDC Emulator in Hyper-V:
    • In the Hyper-V management console, go to the settings for the PDC Emulator domain controller.
    • Select Integration Services and uncheck Time synchronization.
  2. Set the PDC Emulator to synchronize with an external source.
    • Connect to the PDC emulator
    • Download and run the following Microsoft fix it.*  Set the NtpServer to,0x1
    • Run the following commands in an administrative command window:
      • net start w32time
      • w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:“,0x1” /syncfromflags:MANUAL /reliable:yes
      • w32tm /config /update
      • w32tm /resync
      • w32tm /resync /rediscover
    • In the same command window  run w32tm /query /status.  At this point the source should be
  3. Set the peer domain controllers to sync with the PDC Emulator.
    • Connect to each peer domain controller and run the following commands in an administrative command window:
      • w32tm /config /syncfromflags:DOMHIER /update
      • net stop w32time && net start w32time
      • w32tm /resync /force




* If the link no longer works, then go here and choose the fix it for me under “Configuring the Windows Time service to use an external time source.”


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