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Thread: "An error occurred while Windows was synchronizing with"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    "An error occurred while Windows was synchronizing with"

    I am using a Windows XP Home system. I have subscribed to local computer magazine and they this month advised all their subscriber to synchronize their computer clocks. Well I tried the same from Control Panel by ticking up the option “Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server.” As soon as I click on the Update button, it get an error message on the screen saying:

    “An error occurred while Windows was synchronizing with”

    I tried restarting the system several times, turned off Zone Alarm Firewall and antivirus but yet the same error message. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Just try out the following and see if it makes any difference:

    Choose Start, Run, type regedit and hit ENTER (to edit the registry).
    Navigate to the following key


    Now right click the first key on the right pane and select "Modify".
    Change its data element to 1. By doing so system will choose the first time provider on your list as the default provider.
    Now right click the second line, choose "Modify". Also change its data element to:

    See if it works fine now.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    RE: "An error occurred while Windows was synchronizing with time.windo

    Hey guys, even i had a similar problem with my XP desktop when it was set to I use to get the same error message. So later i changed it to about six months ago and so far i had that error message max upto 2 times. It works fine. Scheduled time for synchronization is 03 AM "Microsoft Std. Time". So if want you can try out doing the same.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Re: "An error occurred while Windows was synchronizing with"

    Vista 32 Business on a T61 laptop, home office, non-IT guy. I've had the same problem as everyone else with synchronizing time, but found a solution. I tried most of the other suggestions except change the global policy. Nothing worked. On Microsoft TechNet, there's a posting explaining how the NTP time protocol works.

    About 1/4 way down, there's a statement that seems to be a sure "gotcha":

    Port: NTP uses 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 NTP servers.

    So I enabled port 123 on my server and voila - magically the time updated with every one of the 8 time servers in my list. So now I have a hole in my firewall. I don't like that and suspect something else is amiss. Surely it cannot be this simple - or can it?

    Further down in the article is a Troubleshooting section. Here's the verbiage:

    Troubleshooting on a Computer that Is Unable to Synchronize with a Time Server
    In many cases, problems with Windows Time Service can be attributed to network configuration. If the network is not configured correctly, computers might not be able to send time samples back and forth, and therefore will not be able to synchronize. Viewing the contents of NTP packets can help you identify exactly where a packet is blocked on a network. You can also use the W32tm command-line tool to assist you in troubleshooting this and other types of errors associated with Windows Time Service.

    By default, a standalone workstation running Windows Time Service will not synchronize with a time source if the workstation’s time is more than 15 hours off. For information about scenarios in which this can occur, see “How Windows Time Service Can Affect Users and Applications,” earlier in this section.

    To view the complete syntax for W32tm, at a command prompt, type:

    w32tm /?

    To Resynchronize the Client Time with a Time Server
    To open a command prompt as an administrator, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and click Run as administrator.

    If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.

    At the command prompt, type w32tm /resync /rediscover and then press ENTER.

    So I closed port 123 on my router, tried the above command and it worked on all 8 time servers. Magic.
    Last edited by technot; 27-02-2009 at 04:44 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Re: "An error occurred while Windows was synchronizing with"

    TECHNOT!!! I LOVE YOU MAN... I have searched everywhere trying to figure out why my damn time wont update :P and I was reading your post and I thought hmm 15 hours off might mess it up... My thing was only 2 minutes off but it turns out that it was on a completely wrong day too so i changed the day and tried to update and it worked.. all the servers work.. I love you haha thanks alot man.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Re: "An error occurred while Windows was synchronizing with time.w

    Microsoft has provided a detailed document and suggestions about configuring an authoritative time server in Windows XPindows was synchronizing with I think you should heck out the same and follow what they have provided. Click here for the KB Article.

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