Setting Time Server in SBS 2008/2011

There are several pools of NTP servers for you to choose from based on what part of the world your server is located. You are not required to use the NTP servers pooled in your region, you could in fact choose the whole world by using pool.ntp,org as your specified time server. But would appreciate it if you selected your region from the list in the link. Clicking through you’ll see that in North America, there’s,, and so on with 609 active servers in the pool. In Europe there’s a pool for every Country as well with 1386 servers total.

Here’s how to change your time server from what ever it is now to another NTP server. I’m going to use in my example.

To check the status of your current time server settings

In an elevated command prompt type: w32tm /query /status

The result will look something like this. Notice that in this example, no NTP server has been specified for this server so it is using it’s CMOS clock as a time source. This explains why many servers experience drifting time. As we know the CMOS batteries don’t last forever.


To set an NTP server

In an elevated command prompt type: w32tm /config /

Of course you will enter the name of the pool that you will be using after the : in the command above. Be sure not to leave a space after the :

After entering this command you will get confirmation as shown.


You now need to restart the windows time service for your change to take effect.

Once that is done you can check your work by executing the /status command again.


That’s the basics of how to change your time server from one source to another. The windows time service has much more to offer and tweak. TechNet has an excellent article on all of the settings available.

Article ID: 35, Created On: 11/26/2012, Modified: 11/26/2012

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