What's the correct way to set things on a Windows server (SBS 2003) and our client computers so the time is synchronized properly?
We are having an issue in our office with the time on our computers drifting out of sync. We have a server running Windows SBS 2003 and all the clients are using XP (although not necessarily all on the same SP).
As talented-amateur-IT-guy-without-real-training, what I'm hoping to get is a canonical answer about the correct way to set the server to synchronize its time with some centralized authority, and the canonical way to have client computers synchronize with the server (upon logging in?). I've read a million technotes and blog posts and newsgroup entries about various ways to tweak and perfect this, but I don't know the basic way to start this from scratch.
My first attempt at getting this right was to check these registry keys on the server
(in the section on "Configuring the Windows Time service to use an external time source").
I took a look at the server logs and it appears the server DID synchronize its clock one time after I changed those settings. That was four days ago, though, and there haven't been any other notes in the logs about w32time since then, so I have no idea if this working correctly.
That's all I've done so far, really. I didn't want to make any more changes until I really understood what the Best Practices were in this area.
In terms of synchronizing client computers, I did try one thing...on my own client machine I tried the command "net time /domain:DOMAINNAME" and got a response showing the server time (which is four minutes ahead of my computer), but my local clock was not updated.
I should note in closing that we don't care about issues of "perfect accuracy" (based on my reading so far I see that OMG MILLISECONDS are a concern for many people, but we just want things matching within tolerances to keep authentication & SQL Server happy, and to get us to meetings within a minute of one another) and I don't want this to be something that requires going from computer to computer making changes or installing software; there must be a way to have this all handled upon login, right? Any advice? Thanks folks!