Windows XP Does Not Synchronize the Time Outside a Client's Site

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Article ID: 320258 - View products that this article applies to.
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If a Windows XP-based client is located in an Active Directory-defined site that does not contain a domain controller, the client does not synchronize the time by using the domain hierarchy.


If a client uses a domain hierarchy (that is, is a domain member) for time synchronization, the client does not try to locate another domain controller if the current site does not contain a domain controller.

You can use a Network Time Protocol (NTP) time source to synchronize the time. Group Policy for the Time service contains an entry for CrosSiteSyncFlags, but this entry is not used by Windows XP-based clients.


To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows XP. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322389 How to Obtain the Latest Windows XP Service Pack

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

File information

The English version of this fix should have the following file attributes or later:
   Date         Time   Version      Size     File name
   02-Apr-2002  14:39  5.1.2600.41  158,720  W32time.dll      
   11-Dec-2001  16:55  5.1.2600.0    49,664  W32tm.exe        


To work around this problem, set the client's NTP time source by using Group Policy, or set the NTP time source manually.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was first corrected in Windows XP Service Pack 1.

More information

After you applying this hotfix, you can synchronize the time outside the client's site if no domain controller is present. The Group Policy setting for CrossSiteSyncFlags is used. The Group Policy entry correlates to the following registry value:

CrossSiteSyncFlags REG_DWORD = 0x00000002 (default)
With CrossSiteSyncFlags set to 0, Windows XP-based clients do not try to synchronize outside the site.

With CrossSiteSyncFlags set to 2, Windows XP-based clients use out-of-site domain controllers for synchronization. This is the default value, but is not used for Windows XP-based clients before you apply this hotfix.

No matter what the CrossSiteSyncFlags value is set to, the client chooses the closest site domain controller to synchronize with if both a close site domain controller and an out-of-site domain controller are available.


Article ID: 320258 - Last Review: January 12, 2015 - Revision: 2.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
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