Fixing Time Sync issue with OSX/Windows & Linux

Most of us do dual boots with our hackintosh. Windows and OSX , but one thing we realise is that when you fire up Windows. You realise the the clock is out of sync and you decide to let windows automatically sync with time servers and then it gets fixed. You said that it could be a mistake and you carried on with your work . The following day when you boot up to OSX , you’ve noticed something odd – the clock is out of sync. Its like a demon that is changing time. You decide to fix it up the same way and so the cycle continues. You’ve tried everything that you could to get these two OSes clock to work in harmony. Well , fear not – Today , I’ll show you couple of ways to fix this issue. From the straight forward method to the complicated method. For each methods , I’ve described here – there are both advantages and disadvantages. Don’t worry , I’ll list them all. If you’re curious why time gets out of sync , then stick around and read the whole thing
(more after the jump)

The easiest method – Boot Camp Method
Advantages :-

  • Well it just works
  • Its suitable for brain-dead retards (nah I am just joking , what I meant to say is that umm its suitable for the less tech-savvy)
  • Works with Windows XP , Windows 7, Windows Vista and just about any Boot Camp supported OS by Apple !
  • Makes you feel like having a Mac 😛 (you could proudly say “Hey peeps , I got Boot Camp running on a Hack”)
  • Gives you the ability to read your Mac partition while in Windows (thanks Mushishi)

Disadvantages :-

  • Increases Boot Up Time – On hacks for what-so-ever reason it pauses for a while. I was told that it looks for EFI support , thus the reason why it pauses
  • Bloatware (it installs other Apple Boot Camp softwares such as Keyboard support , Apple mouse support). Some folks hate it very much

Method :-
1. Insert your MacOS X Installation disc in Windows. When autorun prompts , simply run the Boot Camp installation wizard. If it says that its not a Mac or something , run setup.exe manually
For 64-bit Users (Windows 7/Vista) – Here is a great tutorial on how to install Boot Camp drivers on 64-bit PCs. Generally if you run the installer , it says that its not supported. However this guy has managed to find a trick on how you can get it to install
Reboot and everything should be fixed and the time should show up correctly on both of the systems

The Method for Adventurous – Registry Fix
Advantages :-

  • Its clean as in no additional programs are needed to get it working
  • It extends your knowledge of Windows Registry
  • Chuck Norris prefers this method 😛

Disadvantages :-

  • It only works for Windows 7 & Vista and not for Windows XP
  • Messing with Registry can be a tedious task for some especially those who are not comfortable with messing stuffs such as this

1. Firstly fire up Registry Editor by typing regedit.exe  in Windows 7/Vista Search Bar. If you have UAC enabled , you should get a prompt. Simply hit yes.
2. Now Navigate to this key , to do so simply keep on double clicking the folders till you come across to this

Windows Registry Editor Screen of TimeZoneInformation

If you are not sure , please click on the picture so that you can have a larger view of it.
3. Right click on the empty space right below  ‘TimeZoneKeyName’ and create a new Dword (32-bit). On 32-bit versions of Windows 7/Vista , you will only see D-WORD .

4. Rename the new DWORD as “RealTimeIsUniversal” (without quotes and its case-sensitive) .
5. Double click on the new DWORD and change its value data  “0” (thats a zero) to “1” (one) . Its in hexadecimal

6.Save it all. Reboot to MacOS X , set the time properly and now boot back to Windows. You should notice the time should be alrighty
Fixing it in Linux (Thanks to Apocolipse)

Oh, and side note to mention, for linux users (who’s distro defaults to Local time not UTC, like ubuntu, for windows compatibility) you can also edit /etc/conf.d/clock CLOCK=”UTC”

Read the comments below. There are few suggestions (alternative methods) posted by Mac and apocolipse. Its a must read
The Reason why Time gets out of sync
No its not because of your alarm clock , no not jet lag either. Its because OSX uses UTC (aka GMT +0) to store its time. When you set your time zone for instance to +8 GMT (Singapore) , it stores the time with reference to UTC. When you boot to windows , the time that you’re actually seeing is UTC. But if Windows sets the time , it makes OSX all cranky. So the only way (well one of the ways) to fix it is in Windows. Another thing to note is that your BIOS clock will be in UTC and not in your local time 😛 (but dont worry about it , both of the oses will understand that your BIOS clock is UTC)

50 thoughts to “Fixing Time Sync issue with OSX/Windows & Linux”

  1. Great write-up prasys i’ve been looking for this fix for a minute now i can change my time back from hawaii to my time zone thanks

  2. TimeSync is the best for me. You just need to install it on your HackIntosh and your time will be auto sync in all operating system you install on the same machine. I have quad boot, XP/WIN7/LEO/SNOw

  3. My time is GMT+3.
    So I use Windows XP and Windows 7 without any change: set my time GTM+3 country and use built-in sync.
    But in MacOS I need to choose Iceland time and not to use any sync, in this case time is always true in any reboot.
    So anybody can choose country in MacOS that will match your time and you willn’t get any problem.

    1. The reason why I dont use OSX TimeSync patch is that it makes it not vanilla. I prefer to use Apple’s method of fixing things in Windows. It keeps my OSX vanilla and not to mention I get to have the correct time zones in all of my OSes.

  4. Prasys, the second method can easily be done in one step, open up cmd.exe and copy/paste this string (without quotes) “Reg add HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInfo rmation /v RealTimeIsUniversal /t REG_DWORD /d 1”

  5. Oh, and side note to mention, for linux users (who’s distro defaults to Local time not UTC, like ubuntu, for windows compatibility) you can also edit /etc/conf.d/clock CLOCK=”UTC”
    Do Windows + Linux with UTC fixes and you’ll be golden

  6. Hi pradesh, i have try the last cham rc5pre6 from insanely with graph enab for gma950 on msi u100. Which files can i delete? and the efi that i have in the

  7. Here is what I use for WinXP. A simple batch file that runs at every boot. What it does is to try to sync with the NTP server you set in your date and time preferences. As it may take a couple of seconds before your network is up there is a 5 s delay to retry the timesync for 12 times or in other words 1 minute before it will automatically close (the original script was not made by me but I found somewhere I can’t remember; thanks to the unknown author).
    Simply put this in a text file and call it timesync.bat.
    @echo off
    REM *** Retry for up to 1 minutes (12 retries @ 5 seconds each)
    set retryCount=0
    if %retryCount == 12 goto SyncEnd
    set /A retryCount=retryCount + 1
    REM *** Resync the system clock
    w32tm /resync
    if errorlevel 1 goto SyncDelay
    if errorlevel 0 goto SyncEnd
    REM *** If unsuccessful, delay 5 seconds, then retry
    choice /n /t:y,5>nul
    goto SyncStart
    echo Time Sync successful
    Save the file in your c:\windows directory and add the following autorun key to your registry so it runs at machine startup:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    Alternatively you can also create a shortcut in your startup menu.

  8. Mac, pardon me saying but that is a completely retarded thing to do/run. The TimeSync Issue is SOLELY caused by the fact that OS X see’s the BIOS Clock time as UTC (set to GMT +0), Whereas Windows expects the time to be LOCAL TIME (set to your geographic time offset). OS X syncs time server and sets bios time accordingly, then windows boots, and it gets confused. All you need to do is copy/paste
    “Reg add HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInfo rmation /v RealTimeIsUniversal /t REG_DWORD /d 1?
    in cmd.exe, which will add the key to tell windows that the BIOS Clock is UNIVERSAL (GMT +0) time not LOCAL time. Why waste even 5-10secs with this bash script, or bootcamp’s timesync.exe, when both can be avoided by telling windows what time it is…once….and never have to wait at boot again….COPY PASTE ITS THAT EASY

  9. Cool beans Apocalipse, that’s a great tip. I just dumped my script. Actually I was looking for something like this for ages but could not find, also here it said it would not work with XP. Thanks!

  10. I apologize to all, the string is “Reg add HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInformation /v RealTimeIsUniversal /t REG_DWORD /d 1?
    Sorry for the space in “TimeZoneInformation” 😛 should be easily caught but if not, that string in quotes is the proper one.

  11. Easiest way:
    There is a fix by Apple for this – it’s part of the Boot Camp utilities called Appletime.exe. You can find it for download if you just search.

  12. I know it’s an old post,.just wanna make an update, in case somebody bump into this post:
    I use the BIOS RTC wake-up, set the bios to use UTC (Mac Behaviour/Reg edit) is not an option for me,.it’s tedious to add or subtract clock just to make it right to the local time.
    Besides,..the reg method is not reliable is a leftover from windows NT days. In time it will be not sync again/behave unpredictable. The reliable method is to make changes in Mac, not on the Windows side.
    Here’s how :
    For those who lazy write a script:

  13. how to fix this problem in hackintosh…..bcz i dont have retail os x disk….i m having hazards SL 10.6.6 DVD …..plz help….provide solution for hackintosh without retail disk…..

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