Home > Computers and Internet > My Media Center’s Clock is drifting

My Media Center’s Clock is drifting

Maybe it’s something with running Windows Media Center, maybe it’s something with modern processors, but a drifting clock really messes up the media center experience. I generally start to notice because TV shows will start recording a minute late or so, and slowly and progressivly get noticabbly worse. I don’t remember older computers having that much clock drift. It’s generally not noticed today because most computers sync to an online master clock once a week.

So if the computer is syncing with time.live.com (or some other time server) why would there be so much clock drift. I’ve found out that some Windows 7 (maybe Vista) computers, somehow got their sync schedule misconfigured. To see if a computer as this problem open Task Scheduler elevated. Then find the Microsoft\Windows\Time Synchronization\SynchronizeTime task. Check it’s history and see if when it last ran it had an exit code of 5 (access denied). Somehow these tasks got reconfigured to run as the Network Service (which doesn’t have admin perms) instead of Local Service.

To change the permissions of the task, open it up and in the General tab select “Change User or Group” and change it to Local Service. Also, make sure that the “Run with highest privileges” box is checked. I don’t know why some computers aren’t configured like this (it does tend to be ones which run Media Center frequently), but fixing this resolves the time drift issue.

  1. Mathijs
    November 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Thanks! Took me an hour to find this post, but at least it’s solved now.

  2. July 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Same here! Thanks man!

  3. August 16, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Thank you! I’ve been wondering why my clock was off! I have a media center PC and like you said, it’s annoying when the shows start recording a minute late!

  4. Seth
    August 25, 2013 at 6:17 am

    never used task scheduler before – all options are grayed out in my General tab. how do i fix this – very annoyed with delayed DVR’d programs

    • August 25, 2013 at 8:10 am

      Are you launching Task Scheduler elevated (as Administrator)?

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