How to Configure an NTP Network Time Server in Windows 2003

This article gives a step-by-step guide to configuring Windows Server 2003 to run as a NTP time server.

Microsoft Windows 2003 has a time synchronisation utility built into the operating system called Windows Time (w32time.exe) which can be configured to operate as a network time server. It can be configured to both synchronise a network using the internal clock or an external time source.

Please note: Microsoft and others strongly recommend that you configure a time server with a hardware source rather than from the internet where there is no authentication. For information on NTP time servers,Guest Posting receivers and other NTP products please click here

To configure Windows Time service to use the internal hardware clock, first check that w32time is located in the system services list in the registry, to check:

Click Start, Run then type regedit then click ok.

Locate and then click the following registry entry:


It is highly recommended that you back up the registry as serious problems may occur if you modify the registry incorrectly, modifications to the registry are done at your own risk.

To begin configuration for an internal clock, click on the following subkey:


In the right pane, right-click AnnounceFlags, then click modify.

In Edit DWORD Value, type A in the Value Data box, then click OK

Exit Registry Editor

To restart the Windows Time Service click Start, Run (or alternatively use the Command Prompt facility).

Type: net stop w32time && net start w32time

Then press enter.

To configure the Windows Time service to use an external time source, click Start, Run and type regedit then click OK.

Locate the following subkey:


In the right pane, right-click Type then click Modify, in edit Value type NTP in the Value data box then click OK.

Locate the following subkey:


In the right pane, right-click AnnounceFlags and click Modify. The ‘AnnounceFlags’ registry entry indicates whether the server is a trusted time reference, 5 indicates a trusted source so in the Edit DWORD Value box, under Value Data, type 5, then click OK.

Network Time Protocol (NTP) is an Internet protocol used for the transfer of accurate time, providing time information along so that a precise time can be obtained

To enable the Network Time Protocol; NTPserver, locate and click:


In the right pane, right-click Enabled, then click Modify.

In the Edit DWord Value box, type 1 under Value data, then click OK.

Now go back and click on


In the right pane, right-click NtpServer, then Modify, in the Edit DWORD Value under Value Data type In the right pane, right-click NtpServer, then Modify, in the Edit DWORD Value under Value Data type the Domain Name System (DNS), each DNS must be unique and you must append 0×1 to the end of each DNS name otherwise changes will not take effect.

Now click Ok.

Locate and click the following


In the right pane, right-click SpecialPollInterval, then click Modify.

In the Edit DWORD Value box, under Value Data, type the number of seconds you want for each poll, ie 900 will poll every 15 minutes, then click OK.

To configure the time correction settings, locate:


In the right pane, right-click MaxPosPhaseCorrection, then Modify, in the Edit DWORD Value box, under Base, click Decimal, under Value Data, type a time in seconds such as 3600 (an hour) then click OK.

Now go back and click:


In the right pane, right-click MaxNegPhaseCorrection, then Modify.

In the Edit DWORD box under base, click Decimal, under value data type the time in seconds you want to poll such as 3600 (polls in one hour)

Exit Registry Editor

Now, to restart windows time service, click Start, Run (or alternatively use the command prompt facility) and type:

net stop w32time && net start w32time

And that’s it your time server should be now up and running.

Increase your IT Storage efficiency

It is hard to ignore the tremendous growth in storage demands. Long gone are the days when a 5Mb hard disk drive was considered huge. The need to archive data for longer,Guest Posting store video files and allow users huge email quotas, have all contributed to this explosion.

But this should not mean that you turn a blind eye to your business’s storage efficiency. Below are 10 tips for improving the efficiency of your storage. You can get more information on our web site

Having control of your storage is vital. It was during the early eighties that Information Technology was first understood to be the next driving force in a still ongoing industrial revolution – an opportunity to cut cost and complexity across the industrial landscape.

Data storage became a topic for discussion in its own right at the advent and wide-spread uptake of networked computing technologies. During that time, and for the past decade, the focus of such discussions has been centred upon the device. It has been through improving hardware infrastructure and connectivity that organizations have expected to achieve storage efficiency.

Users adapt their behaviour to match available resources. If left unmanaged, there is a direct correlation between capacity availability and capacity use – increase your capacity and usage growth rates will simply accelerate. A recent study found that over 80% of the world’s current 160 million TB of data is unstructured, or user-generated. Of this it is estimated that only 24 million TB [15%] is strategically significant – organizations world-wide are storing an astonishing 136 million TB of strategically worthless, user-generated data.Managing the contentIt is not enough to simply hope that individuals keep their non-business related data at home. Nor can organisations expect that users regularly review their stored content and delete worthless files. IT departments need to stop managing the device and start managing the content – putting a stop to policies of blindly adding capacity and begin to look at the legitimacy of storage needs before adding infrastructure and cost. Effectively managing device content is neither complicated nor time consuming:

In this series of short tips we focus on the need to increase storage efficiency.

Active management of the content of storage devices is a fundamental must for any organisation looking to improve storage efficiency. It is the only way to tackle the underlying cause of storage inefficiencies.

1. Remove media filesUse a robust reporting tool to identify all unwanted media files. Action based on the results of this report could take the form of sending a company-wide or owner-specific memo, moving the files off front-line storage or simply deleting them. Automation tools are available that can execute these actions. Expect to reclaim between 20% and 40% of used capacity.2. File blockingImpose enterprise-wide rules that prevent certain file types from being saved. Highlight for your users that they cannot save audio/video collections on corporate storage devices. Ensure your storage devices remain free from unwanted data at all times.3. Storage quotasEstablish the average usage by user within your organization, potentially at group level, and set a soft quota slightly above this average. This quota should be used to deliver clear notifications to your users – communicate what reasonable storage use is.

Expect to reduce overall storage use by between 30% and 50%, depending on the quota size used.4. Involve usersDeliver interactive reports to your end users – only they know the true value of the data they store. Clear reports and straightforward tools allow users to play a vital role in maintaining an efficient storage resource. User involvement makes sensible storage use part of the business culture.

Expect to reduce the administrative overhead associated with SRM by between 50% and 80%.5. Control re-named filesSome users will attempt to disguise their media files by renaming those files, or even saving them within other files. Identify malicious users through reports that return binary file types and discover hidden streams.

Prevent storage from being silently absorbed by hidden copyrighted materials.6. Control duplicate filesEstablish if a duplication problem exists. The results of an enterprise-wide duplicate file report will allow you to identify problem areas and raise awareness within the relevant user groups.

Anticipate up to 30% duplication rates – almost one file in three is duplicated within the network.7. Control stagnant filesIdentify files that have not been accessed within the last two years and remove those files. Data retention policies require that this data be maintained but it does not have to reside on front-line storage.Expect to reduce storage use by up to 20%.8. Control files owned by obsolete usersIdentify content owned by users that have left the organization. Confirm the stagnation of these files by checking accessed dates and backup/move or backup/delete.

Expect to reclaim between 5% and 10% of storage capacity depending on staff turn-over rates.9. Raise cost awarenessHighlight storage costs for department managers. Show the costs accumulated by their personnel and encourage action – communicate with users through quota notifications, interactive reports and via their managers.

Communicating storage cost through department managers boosts the response rate of all user focused actions.10. Charge for storage useImplementing a system of internal billing leads directly to department level efficiency. There is some degree of overhead in such a policy but if departments are already purchasing resources internally then adding storage to that system is straightforward.

Practical Tips For Buying Your New Laptop

Some practical tips you have to consider before buying your new laptop, especially if you want to find the right laptop for you. Do yourself a favor, before purchasing your new laptop, read this article first…

So you want to buy a laptop but don’t know where to start. You’re not alone. Buying a new laptop can present many challenges,Guest Posting especially if you’re unfamiliar with laptops or notebook computers.

Over the last little while so much new laptop technology has hit the market… Intel Duo Processors, SLI, Dual Graphics… it can all be totally mind boggling to the average consumer. For the first time laptop buyer understanding all the techno jargon can be downright scary.

Mainly because a whole new generation of notebook technology comes around every two years or less; probably much less when you consider all the new advances made recently. It can even be a little overwhelming even for someone like myself who runs an online Laptop Guide and who has a keen interest in all things laptop.

Regardless of all these fancy new improvements, devices and notebook technology, you must remember you’re buying a new laptop for you and you alone. You must first decide if all this new stuff is important to you? Do you really need all this new notebook technology?

But most of all before you can consider that question you must first figure out WHY you want a laptop? Why are you buying a laptop? What chores or tasks do you want the laptop to perform?If you just want a laptop for simple web browsing and emailing, a laptop made five years ago will do the job nicely and cost you a heck of lot less. You really don’t need a top of the line laptop unless of course, you’re keeping up with the Jones and want the latest top model of everything. But that’s moving into Dr. Phil’s territory… lets not venture there!So what do you need the laptop for?Do you need a lightweight portable laptop for business trips or meetings? Do you need a student notebook for classes? Or do just want a desktop replacement computer that you can easily move around in your home?Your answer will greatly determine which type of laptop you should buy.

In my case, I work full time at home and do a lot of web design so I needed a solid machine with a lot of RAM. I also enjoy downloading and enjoying the occasional movie so a DVD Multi Drive and a wide screen display were important. High quality graphics and sound was also important for what I needed.

RAM RAM is to computer what location is to real estate. RAM or Random Access Memory is perhaps the most important factor to consider when buying your laptop or any computer.

RAM will greatly determine the speed of your laptop or computer. How fast it will process your tasks and graphics. You must make sure you have enough for your needs. You can now find many laptops pre-loaded with 1 Gig of RAM and capable of upgrading to 4 Gigs or more. Compared to yesterday’s computers that’s a lot of RAM. If you’re not into gaming, handling large video files/editing, all that RAM is not needed but it will make your laptop run faster. Also, remember if you’re into gaming, Video RAM will be important — you need a top of the line (read expensive) Graphics Card and it will increase the cost of your laptop.

Also it may be wise to buy a laptop with upgradable memory – since new applications, multi windowed browsers, streaming video… of the very near future may place high demand on your laptop’s RAM.

Dual Core Processors CPU or Computer Processing Unit is the heart of your laptop and in this case you have Two Hearts — Intel Centrino Duo is the front runner in this area right now. However, AMD is giving Intel some stiff competition in the dual core battle with its Athlon™ 64 X2 dual core processor. Either one would be a wise choice.

Hard DriveThe amount of space or size of laptop hard drives are steadily increasing, a 100 Gig laptop is now common. If you don’t want a lot of storage, buying a smaller size hard drive will save you money. Many laptop experts choose the SATA hard drive with a high 5400 or 7200 RPM.

Weight or SizePerhaps the major reason you’re considering buying a laptop is its size or weight — otherwise you’re better of saving your money and buying a desktop computer instead. A laptop is portable, you can carry it anywhere… tuck it under your arm and cart it to class or your next business meeting. It is ideal for taking your information and work to wherever you want to go. This portability is the main selling feature of a laptop.

Obviously you must pick the best sized laptop to suit your needs. Laptops are divided into different categories, here’s a quick rundown:

Tablet PC (smallest) Size of a paper tablet or notepad, less than 3 pounds.

Ultra Portable (small) <11″ x 11″ More than 1.5 inches, more than 7 pounds and upPick the size that suits your purpose and use.

PriceLaptop prices are steadily falling, it is now possible to get a quality laptop for well under a $1000. Many are selling at the $500 – $600 range. High quality gaming laptops offered by such specialty laptop makers as Alienware, Rock, will still set you back 3 to 4 grand. Ouch!
WarrantiesDon’t overlook this factor, if you’re buying an expensive laptop, you might want to check out these extended warranties. If you do a lot of traveling, you might need to purchase insurance against thief and loss.
Dead Pixels Was the Only Thing I Feared!If you can check your laptop for any dead pixels. A dead pixel will give you white spots(pixels)on your LCD display screen. Most cases you’re buying your laptop straight out of the box, booting up and finding you have dead pixels is not a pleasant experience. If you want to check your laptop screen for dead pixels, just do a search for the free ‘Dead Pixel Buddy’ software program and run it to check your laptop for dead pixels.
Use The Internet For Information Or Even PurchaseI run a simple Laptop Guide on one of my sites and I also keep a laptop blog so I am constantly using the Internet to gather information and compare prices. You must shop around and check out the consumer reports on the different laptop makers and the different laptop products. You must also check out the service records/reputation of the major brand names.
I researched all the different laptops and found the one that met my requirements and price. I bought it in the real world at a local Computer store mainly because I wanted to examine the laptop’s graphics and keyboard in the flesh. However, I checked out all of the product’s details beforehand on this store’s online site — much easier than in a busy crowded store.

Kick The TiresLike buying anything, it is always a good idea to fully check out your purchase. Sample the laptop’s keyboard, does typing feel comfortable? Try the touchpad, is it responsive? Open your favorite programs and check the processing speed of your laptop. Bring along a DVD and sample the sound and graphics. Take note of any problems or irritations that may pop-up, in my case it was a small right shift key but this was so minor I knew I could get used to it and it didn’t stop me from buying my desired laptop.
Research Your LaptopUse the Internet to research your desired laptop, know exactly what components it has and know what software is already preloaded. Be careful of salespeople who will try to charge you extra for configuring or installing programs on your laptop when these programs may already be preloaded at the factory stage!I settled on a Toshiba Satellite P100-SD3: it has Intel Duo, 1 Gig of RAM, 100 Gig Hard Drive, 17″ widescreen TrueBrite Display, compatible with the new Windows Vista… it meets all my needs and I am quite pleased with my new laptop. And I will be writing a full review after I have used it for a couple of weeks… but that’s another article.
If you consider most of the simple points and check out the factors listed above then making your own laptop purchase will not only be quite painless but it may even prove an enjoyable experience. Do a little homework and you will easily find the perfect laptop for you.