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Windows Time (System Services for the Windows Server 2003 Family and Windows XP Operating Systems)

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Service Name: W32Time

Executable Name: svchost.exe -k netsvcs

Log On As: LocalSystem

Description: The Windows Time service maintains date and time synchronization on all computers running on a Windows-based network. It uses the Network Time Protocol (NTP) to synchronize computer clocks so that an accurate clock value, or time stamp, can be assigned to network validation and resource access requests. The implementation of NTP and the integration of time providers make the Windows Time service a reliable and scalable time service for enterprise administrators. For computers that are not joined to a domain, the Windows Time service can be configured to synchronize time with an external time source.

If this service is stopped or disabled, date and time synchronization is unavailable in the forest or an external NTP server.

There are two scenarios:

  1. Stopping the Windows Time service on a workstation prevents the workstation from synchronizing its time with another source, but has no effect on any other external server.

  2. Stopping the Windows Time service on a domain controller has the same effect as in item 1, but it also prevents any domain members from synchronizing time with it. This might adversely impact time synchronization in the enterprise.

Available on: Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition; Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition; Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition and Windows Server 2003, Web Edition

Installed through: Default operating system installation

Startup type: Automatic

Service status: Started

This service depends on the following system components:


The following system components depend on this service:

Cluster Service

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