Solved: Unable to Synchronize with Internet Time Server

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psylock

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Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.2
OS Version: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Service Pack 3, 32 bit
Processor: Genuine Intel(R) CPU T2400 @ 1.83GHz, x86 Family 6 Model 14 Stepping 8
Processor Count: 2
RAM: 2551 Mb
Graphics Card: Mobile Intel(R) 945 Express Chipset Family, 224 Mb
Hard Drives: C: Total - 57231 MB, Free - 49149 MB;
Motherboard: Hewlett-Packard, 30AD
Antivirus: avast! Antivirus, Updated: Yes, On-Demand Scanner: Enabled

Hello,

I am unable to update my internet time I keep getting the error message that says "An error occurred while Windows was synchronizing with time-a.nist.gov." I tried synchronizing with time-a.nist.gov, time.nist.gov, and time.windows.com -- I guess these are the default Internet time servers. There is also an error message in the Event log, I will paste a copy of the Event Viewer error message below.

Event Type: Error
Event Source: W32Time
Event Category: None
Event ID: 29
Date: 3/12/2014
Time: 8:43:04 PM
User: N/A
Computer:
Description:
The time provider NtpClient is configured to acquire time from one or more time sources, however none of the sources are currently accessible. No attempt to contact a source will be made for 14 minutes. NtpClient has no source of accurate time.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

I tried doing a system restore to an earlier point when I was able to update the internet date/time, but that did not resolve the issue, I am still unable to update internet date and time.

I know that Microsoft will end support for XP on April 8, but I will be using this until then. Please help me with this issue, thank you!!
 

cwwozniak

Chuck
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I tried synchronizing with ... time.nist.gov ...
Are you able to successfully PING time.nist.gov from a command prompt screen?

Are you running any firewall that might be blocking the NtpClient program?
 

TerryNet

Terry
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FWIW I tried time.windows.com when I read the initial post yesterday morning and got the same error. Tried it just now and had success. So, maybe all those servers were having some kind of problem that has now been fixed.
 

psylock

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I tried updating my date/time using the three servers that I mentioned previously and I still get the error message. I tried pinging all three servers and I get "Request timed out" for all three. I use a third party firewall, Online Armor. In online armor if I go to the tab for Restricted Ports it says that ntp port 123 UDP is restricted, do I need to allow it?
 

cwwozniak

Chuck
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... ntp port 123 UDP is restricted, do I need to allow it?
I found some information in the MS TechNet library that is for Server 2003, but just may apply to Windows XP as well.

Port: NTP and SNTP use User Datagram Protocol (UDP) port 123 on time servers. If this port is not open to the Internet, you cannot synchronize your server to Internet SNTP or NTP servers.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc779145%28v=ws.10%29.aspx

EDIT: I don't know if you incur any kind of increased security risk if you open port 123 on the firewall. Maybe somebody else here can address any such risks.
 

psylock

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I removed the restriction on UDP port 123 and tried updating date/time at all three previously mentioned time servers and I am still getting the error message. This time I got a different error message in the Event Viewer, I'll paste it below:

Event Type: Error
Event Source: W32Time
Event Category: None
Event ID: 17
Date: 3/15/2014
Time: 7:55:52 AM
User: N/A
Computer:
Description:
Time Provider NtpClient: An error occurred during DNS lookup of the manually configured peer 'time-a.nist.gov,0x1'. NtpClient will try the DNS lookup again in 15 minutes. The error was: A socket operation was attempted to an unreachable host. (0x80072751)

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
 

dvk01

Derek
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That is a common problem with online armour firewall and very difficult to cure without uninstalling the firewall
do you have OA set to use advanced mode
If you do then that blocks everything by default that you haven't specifically allowed. and is blocking the nntp service using the dns service
switch to standard mode . Do the time checks & update and then switch back to advanced mode

However. you should also note that NNTP time checks won't work or alter the time if the time is out by more than 23 hours
 

dvk01

Derek
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You could try this free program to sync the clock online, I use it on a laptop which has a 'fast' system clock :- http://www.timesynctool.com/
That won't work in this case because it is the firewall blocking ALL programs and services that are not specifically allowed

It is because of problems like this that we generally don't recommend 3rd party firewalls nowadays. The need for them has been vastly reduced since the onset of Broadband and the fact that every router has an inbuilt firewall. Blocking anything outgoing on your computer tends to cause more problems than it cures.
 

psylock

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dvk01 you were correct!! I switched to standard mode and I had to restart my computer and when I tried to update date/time using an internet time server the date/time were successfully synchronized. Thank you for your help!!
 

managed

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