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Last Updated December 16, 2003

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UTC Defined

The abbreviation UTC really stands for "Coordinated Universal Time" and not "Universal Coordinated Time" The UTC abbreviation is a language-independent international abbreviation, and is neither English nor French. It means both 'Coordinated Universal Time' and 'Temps Universel Coordonn©' The logic behind this is that, there are 7 Universal Times (all within 1 second of each other), and UTC is the "coordinated version of 'Universal Time'", hence the word order of Coordinated Universal Time. UTC is also NOT the same as GMT, as UTC is an ATOMIC time-scale, while GMT (strictly speaking UT1 [UT-one]) is tied to the rotation of the Earth in respect to the fictitious 'mean Sun'. UTC is, however, kept within 0.9 seconds of UT1, by virtue of leap seconds.

Thanks to Howard Barnes from Auckland, New Zealand for sending us this info!

Time Synchronization in Windows 2000

Time synchronization between workstations and servers in a domain may seem like a small thing, but with Windows 2000's new Kerberos authentication the encryption algorithm is based on the current time. If the time is off by a few minutes, the encryption codes will not match and access to network resources may be denied.
Where to Start
Advancing Time on Production Computers and the Effect on Active Directory and FRS 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 289668 - In the course of troubleshooting Active Directory or File Replication Service (FRS - replication issues, as the administrator, you may want to advance the system time of a computer to make the content of one computer have authority over another, or to force deletion of tombstoned objects in Active Directory. 

Basic Operation of the Windows Time Service
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 224799 - Windows 2000 uses a new time synchronization service to synchronize the date and time of computers running on a Windows 2000-based network. Synchronized time is critical in Windows 2000 because the default authentication protocol (Kerberos version 5) uses workstation time as part of the authentication ticket generation process. The Windows Time Synchronization service (W32Time) is a fully compliant implementation of the Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP) as detailed in IETF RFC 1769.

Description of Date and Time Format Standards
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 247873 - This article describes the sources for the formats available on the Date and Time tabs in the Regional Settings or Regional Options tool in Control Panel. 

Registry Entries for the W32Time Service 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 223184 - The W32Time service is an integrated service in Windows 2000. This service ensures that computer date and time settings are correctly synchronized throughout an organization. 

Using NET TIME for all Workstations and Servers
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 120944 - In a network with different network client software, different workgroups, and different domains, maintaining a logon script that issues a NET TIME command can become complex. This article offers a simple solution to keep the time for all clients in the network synchronized.

Using TIMESERV to Set and Synchronize Time
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 232255 - This article provides information about the Timeserv.exe utility, which is included with the Windows NT resource kit.

Windows 2000 vs. Windows NT Time Synchronization
Compare the differences between Win2K and NT time synchronization, and explore how to integrate time synchronization in a mixed Win2K and NT environment. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (May 2000)

Windows Time Synchronization Service
Discusses the Windows Time Synchronization Service, the service that Windows 2000 uses to ensure that all computers on your network use a common time. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (March 20, 2000)

How to Articles
How Machines Determine the Time Source Server Using NET TIME
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 156460 - Describes the process by which a client computer attempts to synchronize with a time source server and how it locates that server. 

How to Configure an Authoritative Time Server in Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 216734 - Windows 2000 includes the W32Time (Windows Time) time service that is required by the Kerberos authentication protocol. The purpose of the time service is to ensure that all Windows 2000-based computers within an enterprise use a common time 

How to Configure the Short Date Format in Windows and Windows NT
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 241671 - This article describes how to configure the short date format that is displayed in Windows and Windows NT. 

How to Synchronize the Time on a Windows 2000-Based Computer in a Windows NT 4.0 Domain
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 258059 - A Windows 2000-based computer that is a member of a Microsoft Windows NT 4.0-based domain may have the following event in the System event log: 

How Windows Keeps Track of the Date and Time
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 232488 - This article describes how Windows keeps track of the date and time.

Installing the Time Service Resource for Windows Clustering in a Windows NT Domain
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 279005 - When you are using Windows 2000 in a Windows NT 4.0 domain, if you are using Windows Clustering, you must install the Time Service resource. This article describes how to install Windows Clustering Time Service when you install Windows 2000 

Keeping Time on your Windows NT Network
Offers an overview and instructions for using the Network Time Protocol (NTP), a tool to help keep your network's workstations on as close to the same time as possible. Source: TechNet

Mexico City Time Zone Update for Daylight Saving Time
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 289502 - The Mexico City (and Tegucigalpa) time zone is being modified in 2001 to change the way that daylight saving time is implemented; daylight saving time is implemented one month later in the spring and one month earlier in the fall. (updated 882001) 


Obtaining Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) from NTFS Files
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 158588 - After the automatic correction for Daylight Savings Time, monitoring programs comparing current time/date stamps to reference data that were not written using Win32 API calls which directly obtain/adjust to Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) 

Registry Entries for the W32Time Service
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 223184 - The W32Time service is an integrated service in Windows 2000. This service ensures that computer date and time settings are correctly synchronized throughout an organization.

Time Synchronization in an NT Network
Ensure that your time-sensitive systems and applications work correctly, by synchronizing your Windows NT network with a single, accurate, and standard time source. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (February 1997)

Win32 Time Service Informational, Warning, and Error Messages
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 232209 - Windows 2000 uses a new time synchronization service to synchronize the date and time of computers on a Windows 2000-based network. Synchronized time is critical in Windows 2000 because the default authentication protocol (Kerberos version)

Using NET TIME for all Workstations and Servers
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 120944 - In a network with different network client software, different workgroups, and different domains, maintaining a logon script that issues a NET TIME command can become complex. This article offers a simple solution to keep the time for all computers.

Troubleshooting Time Synchronization Problems...
Access Violation May Occur in Termsrv.exe When You Are Using Time-Outs
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 256843 - An access violation may occur in Termsrv.exe when you are using idle connection and disconnected session time-outs.

Cannot Log On If Time and Date Are Not Synchronized
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 232386 - When you attempt to log on to the network, you may receive the following error message: The system cannot log you on due to the following error: There is a time difference between the Client and Server. Please try again or consult your system administrator. This behavior can occur if the time or date is not synchronized between your computer and the domain to which you are attempting to log on. 

Clients May Not Synchronize the System Time Accurately in Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 321290 - If you restore a system to different hardware, the system may start to lose time when Windows tries to synchronize the time by using the Windows Time service. This issue may also occur if you use images to install Windows 2000 on a different hardware architecture. 

"Could Not Locate a Time Server" After Setting SNTP Time Server Using NET TIME Command
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 243574 -  When you use the net time command, you may receive the following error message: Could not locate a time-server. More help is available by typing NET HELPMSG 3912. This error message can occur even if you set a valid Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP) time server using the net time /setsntp command and network connectivity to the external time server exists. 

Daylight Saving Time Option Is Not Retained While Installing Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 235417 - During the Windows 2000 installation process, a dialog box appears prompting you to set the time zone. 

Internet Time Feature Is Not Available When a Computer Is a Domain Member 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 289689 - On a Windows XP-based computer, the Internet Time tab does not appear in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel. This behavior occurs because the Windows XP-based computer is a member of a domain. The Internet Time feature is only available in workgroup environments. 

Logon Time Restrictions Prevent Users on Windows NT 4.0 from Remotely Accessing Windows 2000 Resources
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 263006 - In an environment with a Microsoft Windows NT 4.0-based primary domain controller (PDC) and Windows 2000-based computers, non-administrative users who are logged on to Windows NT 4.0-based computers may not be able to gain access to Windows 

RPC Error Messages Returned for Active Directory Replication When Time Is Out of Synchronization
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 257187 - When you are viewing the status of Active Directory replication between two domain controllers, the following messages may be displayed for the result of the last replication attempt: 

SetLocalTime/GetLocalTime Not the Same if Adjusting for Daylight Savings Time
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 234735 - Calling SetLocalTime() while the "Automatically adjust clock for daylight saving changes" option is selected in the Date/Time Control Panel Tool does not set the time correctly from the point of view of the GetLocalTime() API. 

Time Stamp Changes with Daylight Savings
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 129574 - When Windows NT automatically adjusts for daylight savings time, the times on files on Windows NT file system (NTFS) partitions and the events in the event logs are retroactively shifted by one hour, even though the files and event records were created before the daylight savings time change. 

W32Time Client Does Not Fail Over to Secondary NTP Servers by FQDN
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 285641 - If you place multiple Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers by IP address in the NTPServer registry value, Windows tries each listed address. If you specify the NTP servers by DNS name (or the FQDN), Windows loops through the list once for server, but attempts to connect to the first name in the list each time instead of trying each name. 

W32tm Command Generates Error Messages When Run on a Windows 2000 Domain Controller 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 247321 - The W32tm command is used to test and maintain time synchronization between workstations and servers in an enterprise. If you use the command on a Windows 2000 domain controller, you may receive an error message in the output of the command 

Win32 Time Service Informational, Warning, and Error Messages
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 232209 - Windows 2000 uses a new time synchronization service to synchronize the date and time of computers on a Windows 2000-based network. Synchronized time is critical in Windows 2000 because the default authentication protocol (Kerberos version 5) uses workstation time as part of the authentication ticket generation process. The Windows Time Synchronization service (W32Time) is a fully compliant implementation of the Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP) as detailed in IETF RFC 1769.

Windows 2000 Adjusts Time of Files on CD-ROMs for Local Time Zones
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 242059 - This article describes why files on CD-ROMs are adjusted to use the date and time for your local time zone when you are running Windows 2000. 

Windows 2000 Loses Date and Time on Every Boot
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 243883 - After you install Windows 2000 and reboot, you may receive a message stating that the system's date and time are invalid. When this occurs, the date may be set for January 1, 1601, or another invalid date.

Windows Time Service Continues to Monitor Secondary Client Broadcasts
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 243993 - After you upgrade your Microsoft Windows NT 4.0-based computer to Windows 2000 and then you use W32time.exe to configure the Windows Time service to ignore secondary client broadcasts, your Windows 2000-based computer continues to monitor secondary client broadcasts.


 

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