A glitch, or something worse, developed Monday in the Microsoft program that provides time stamps to personal computers, servers, apps, security functions and a host of other functions in today’s digital world.
According to TheNextWeb, the wrong times – sometimes an hour off, sometimes an hour and an odd number of minutes – began appearing Monday morning.
“The issue was first spotted by numerous users on Reddit and Twitter several hours ago, but appears to still persist,” the report said. “It remains unclear exactly what might be causing the issue, but some speculate Windows Time Service servers have likely lost connection to external sources, offsetting the entire network.”
On Twitter, complaints delivered in numerous languages indicated the problem was worldwide.
“Anyone else have problems with [Time.Windows.com] returning the wrong time today? My domain controllers clock i[n] all over the place,” complained one social media user.
Emilio Barenos continued the conversation: “I switched my synchronization to time.nist.gov. That did the trick for me. Time.windows.com wasn’t working.”
The ONMSFT said: “Microsoft has yet to acknowledge the issue, which could not only affect Windows machines but also Internet Information Services servers. For consumers, wrong time synchronization could lead to many problems with apps and security features.”
Microsoft explains on its own site: “The Windows Time service, also known as W32Time, synchronizes the date and time for all computers running in an AD DS domain. Time synchronization is critical for the proper operation of many Windows services and line-of-business applications. The Windows Time service uses the Network Time Protocol (NTP) to synchronize computer clocks on the network so that an accurate clock value, or time stamp, can be assigned to network validation and resource access requests. The service integrates NTP and time providers, making it a reliable and scalable time service for enterprise administrators.”
The MS site was last updated in February and didn’t refer to Monday’s issues.
TheNextWeb said: “You might want to switch to an alternative network time protocol (NTP) until Microsoft has managed to sort out the problem. NIST, NTP and Google offer their own time services – but make sure they’re compatible with your system before you switch.”
The report continued: “One way to make sure whether Windows Time Service is relaying the correct time to your system is to ping its servers and see what clock strata they return. If the server returns ‘stratum 16,’ chances are your ‘device is unsynchronized.'”