For those of you unaware, Windows NT 4 (that Windows 2000) and higher (XP, Vista) are set to automatically synchronize the internal clock with either of these two time servers using the Network Time Protocol. Very handy, that.
After extensive Googling and 3½ cigarettes, I came to believe that I was not the only one affected by this. Many users are, though not many seem to realize it. The Windows Time Service isn't high on many people's tech priorities list.
What has solved the problem for me, and for most -- but not all -- the computers I've done this on is the following:
Note: This Procedure Involves Editing The Windows Registry. You NEED to back up the registry before proceeding; it's just common sense. Learn How To Back Up The Registry Here.
Step 1. Open the Windows Command Line (click Start then Run, type cmd and press enter)
Step 2. Stop the Windows Time Service. Type:
net stop w32timeat the command line, then press enter
Step 3. Add tick.usno.navy.mil and tock.usno.navy.mil as primary and secondary time servers, retain time.windows.com and time-b.nist.gov as third and fourth servers (press enter after each line):
reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DateTime\Servers /v 0 /t REG_SZ /d tock.usno.navy.mil reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DateTime\Servers /v 1 /t REG_SZ /d tick.usno.navy.mil reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DateTime\Servers /v 2 /t REG_SZ /d time.windows.com reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DateTime\Servers /v 3 /t REG_SZ /d time-b.nist.gov
Step 4. Restart Windows Time Service
net start w32time
Step 5. Verify by issuing the resync command:
That should do it. Even if the resync command fails, you've double the number of servers from which Windows can update thereby doubling you chance of success.
I tried this with other NTP servers, but the US Navy's were the only ones that worked consistently.
If you'd rather not do all that typing, simply copy & paste all the commands into notepad, one command per line, and save it to your desktop as time.bat. Then, double-click time.bat to execute the commands.