Sync Microsoft Domain Time To A Cisco NTP Device

KB ID 0001038 Dtd 26/02/15

Problem

I've been posting domain time articles for a long time, and on more than one occasion I've really needed to take my Windows time from a Cisco Device and failed miserably. I've even used third party NTP software to solve this problem on my own test network.

On a client network, my colleague deployed ACS5 this week, I secured the ASA5585-X for AAA and it failed authentication. Logging revealed a clock skew error, so we manually set the time on the domain PDC. Within half an hour it was failing. The network topology prevented me syncing to a public NTP server from the domain PDC.

We did however have all the network devices syncing from a public time source, if only we could use one of those?

Solution

Step 1 Configure NTP on your Cisco Device.

Here I'm using a 7200 Router in GNS3, the NTP IP addresses I use are UK based NTP servers, I suggest you replace them with some public NTP servers on your own continent. I'm using two for redundancy.

Petes-Router#configure terminal
Enter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z.
Petes-Router(config)#ntp server 130.88.202.49 prefer
Petes-Router(config)#ntp server 194.35.252.7

NOTE: You need to force the Cisco device to advertise itself with a low stratum, typically the lower the stratum, the closer to atomic time you are supposed to be, (so we are actually forcing the device to lie, but if we don't, Windows wont trust it!)

 Petes-Router(config)#ntp master 5 

It can take a while for NTP, (go and have a coffee), then check it's synchronised, DO NOT proceed until the Cisco device has synchronised.

R1#show ntp status
Clock is synchronized, stratum 5, reference is 127.127.1.1
nominal freq is 250.0000 Hz, actual freq is 250.0000 Hz, precision is 2**19
ntp uptime is 364600 (1/100 of seconds), resolution is 4000
reference time is D898D3A0.319A96D4 (23:05:04.193 GMT Wed Feb 25 2015)
clock offset is 0.0000 msec, root delay is 0.00 msec
root dispersion is 0.26 msec, peer dispersion is 0.23 msec
loopfilter state is 'CTRL' (Normal Controlled Loop), drift is -0.000000000 s/s
system poll interval is 16, last update was 3 sec ago.

Step 2 Configure Windows to use Cisco NTP Time

In the past I've said "Windows Does not use NTP, it uses Win32 Time" This is not strictly true, it does use NTP, but by default it uses 'Symmetric Active Mode NTP' and your Cisco Device expects its NTP requests to be submitted via 'Client Mode NTP'. (See MS KB 875424 for more info).

Note: By default Windows Domains take their time from the PDC emulator, carry this procedure out on that server!

Locate your FSMO Role Servers

Open an elevated command prompt and execute the following commands (the Cisco device IP is shown in red, change accordingly);

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:"123.123.123.148",0x8 /syncfromflags:MANUAL
net stop "windows time"
net start "windows time"
w32tm /resync

Note: If you want to specify TWO Cisco devices, use the following syntax

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:"123.123.123.148,123.123.123.149",0x8 /syncfromflags:MANUAL

Sync Windows to Cisco

Now in the Servers System log, you should see the following two events logged.

Event ID 37

Event ID 37

Log Name: System
Source: Microsoft-Windows-Time-Service
Date: 25/02/2015 22:33:19
Event ID: 37
Task Category: None
Level: Information
Keywords:
User: LOCAL SERVICE
Computer: 2012-DC-CA.petenetlive.com
Description:
The time provider NtpClient is currently receiving valid time data from 123.123.123.148,
0x8 (ntp.m|0x8|0.0.0.0:123->123.123.123.148:123).

Event ID 35

Event ID 35

Log Name: System
Source: Microsoft-Windows-Time-Service
Date: 25/02/2015 22:21:17
Event ID: 35
Task Category: None
Level: Information
Keywords:
User: LOCAL SERVICE
Computer: 2012-DC-CA.petenetlive.com
Description:
The time service is now synchronizing the system time with the time source 123.123.123.148,
0x8 (ntp.m|0x8|0.0.0.0:123->123.123.123.148:123).
 

Windows and Cisco NTP Problems and Errors

Event ID 47

Event ID 35

Log Name: System
Source: Microsoft-Windows-Time-Service
Date: 25/02/2015 22:11:07
Event ID: 47
Task Category: None
Level: Warning
Keywords:
User: LOCAL SERVICE
Computer: 2012-DC-CA.petenetlive.com
Description:
Time Provider NtpClient: No valid response has been received from manually configured 
peer 123.123.123.148 after 8 attempts to contact it. This peer will be discarded as a 
time source and NtpClient will attempt to discover a new peer with this DNS name. The 
error was: The peer is unreachable.

On your Cisco Device you will see debug output like so, (it will repeat 8 times);

Petes-Router#debug ntp all
NTP events debugging is on
NTP core messages debugging is on
NTP clock adjustments debugging is on
NTP reference clocks debugging is on
NTP packets debugging is on
Petes-Router#
000031: Feb 25 22:07:45.831: NTP message received from 123.123.123.151 on interface 'GigabitEthernet0/0' (123.123.123.148).
000032: Feb 25 22:07:45.835: NTP Core(DEBUG): ntp_receive: message received
000033: Feb 25 22:07:45.835: NTP Core(DEBUG): ntp_receive: peer is 0x67A57898, next action is 1.
Petes-Router#
000034: Feb 25 22:07:54.967: NTP message received from 123.123.123.151 on interface 'GigabitEthernet0/0' (123.123.123.148).
000035: Feb 25 22:07:54.967: NTP Core(DEBUG): ntp_receive: message received
000036: Feb 25 22:07:54.971: NTP Core(DEBUG): ntp_receive: peer is 0x67A57898, next action is 1.
Petes-Router#

ntp debug cisco

Causes:

This is a pretty generic error, but in this case, one of the following situations can cause this;

1. UDP Port 123 is blocked between Windows and the Cisco NTP device.

2. The Cisco NTP device has not synchronised form a reliable NTP source.

3. The stratum of the Cisco NTP device is to high.

4. Windows is attempting to sync time using 'Symmetric Active Mode NTP' See my comments above.

Related Articles, References, Credits, or External Links

Windows - Setting Domain Time

Cisco ASA - Configuring for NTP

VMware - Setting up ESX NTP Time Sync

Author: Migrated

Share This Post On