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Correcting Time on Windows Server

Published on: Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 1:15 pm EST

By default, a Vultr VPS with Windows Server 2012 has its system time set to the UTC timezone. You may change the timezone as you desire, but changing it to anything other than UTC may cause the system time to drift rapidly. This happens because the Vultr VM host computers use UTC time in their system BIOS, which is not (officially) supported by Windows Server.

Although not officially supported, Windows Server has a hidden feature that allows it to work with the UTC BIOS clock setting. This patch will work well enough for most, but has caused issues historically. Follow the steps below to apply the patch.

  1. Log into your Windows Server 2012 VM.
  2. Create a file named patch.reg. Populate it with the following contents.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInformation]
    "RealTimeIsUniversal"=dword:00000001
    
  3. Run the patch.reg file, allow it to modify the registry when prompted.

  4. Reboot your server.

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