HOWTO For Windows NT 4

Windows 2000 now includes a built-in time service which is similar to TimeServ.

Time Server is a service for NT which is available on the Windows NT Resource Kit CD. It consists of TIMESERV.EXE, TIMESERV.DLL and TIMESERV.INI.

To install the service, simply copy the EXE and DLL files into the \WINNT\SYSTEM32 directory and run TIMESERV –AUTOMATIC (if you want to register the service and have it start automatically after each reboot) or TIMESERV –MANUAL (if you want to register the service but have it started manually).

Configuration To configure the time server, you must edit the INI file TIMESERV.INI in the WINNT (not SYSTEM32!) directory. It is currently setup for use on a secondary time server, meaning that it gets its time from another computer but does not provide that time to any other computer.

There are many parameters in the INI file. The most important ones are:

  • Type – The type of time server that this computer is (usually SECONDARY);
  • PrimarySource – The computer which is the time server source for this computer;
  • Period – the number of times during a day that this computer should synchronize its time with the PrimarySource computer. If this value is 24, the time will be synchronized every hour. (NOTE: the time is synchronized only if the clocks differ by 0.5 seconds or more).
  • Timesource – set to no if this computer is not a time server source for other computers (for Type=SECONDARY). Set to yes if this computer is a source for other computers (for Type=PRIMARY or Type=MASTER).
  • Log – set to yes if this computer should write to the NT Event Log every time that it checks its time with its PrimarySource (whether or not its clock was adjusted). Set to no if this logging is not desired.

Other parameters can be left as is. Now that the INI file has been configured correctly, you must update the service to use the new configuration.

Updating the Configuration
Once the time server’s INI file has been configured correctly, you will have to update the time server service to now use the new configuration. To do this, first stop the Time Server service using the Service Control Manager in the Control Panel. Once it is stopped, run TIMESERV –UPDATE from the Start|Run facility. After this is completed, just restart the Time Server service and, voila, your service is configured.

If you requested logging, you can now check the Event Viewer to ensure that the first synchronization succeeded. If no error message is given, your Time Server is now operational.

Full details at