Time Synchronization and Domain Controller VM’s


often, I’m getting asked how to configure Time Synchronization for Hyper-V VM’s that run the Domain Controller (DC) Role. Our original recommendation was to disable the time synchronization and leave it up to the DC’s own functionality to synchronize time with other DC’s.

On the other hand, we also have our PM Bens correct recommendation that there is ‘Never’ a reason to do so. (Question#8)

 Now, just recently I found that our technet article now actually recommends to partially disable time synchronization:

“To partially disable the Hyper-V time synchronization provider, leave Time synchronization enabled under Integration Services and run the following command from an elevated command prompt on the guest domain controller:
 reg add HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\TimeProviders\VMICTimeProvider /v Enabled /t reg_dword /d 0

It is important to ensure that your host machine is syncing with a reliable time service to avoid any time skews.


Comments (4)
  1. Devin says:

    Hi Robert,

    So, based on your idea, what's the best way to handle the time service in a VM holding PDC ?

    just — leave the leave Time synchronization enabled & configure the exterinal time source via the following artilce:


    but, how about other member server?

  2. Chris203 says:

    I have the same question.  I have a MEMBER server that is also the HOST for this DC…  

  3. Dennis says:

    The recommendation for DC's seems to be changed again.

    technet.microsoft.com/…/virtual_active_directory_domain_controller_virtualization_hyperv(WS.10).aspx updated October 24, 2012:

    Note: This guidance has been recently updated to reflect the current recommendation to synchronize time for the guest domain controller from only the domain hierarchy, rather than the previous recommendation to partially disable time synchronization between the host system and guest domain controller.

  4. babu says:

    Hi i have domain controller it is virtual machine, i am not able to configure the NTP server  i have tried all the ways. plese help me

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