w32time event ID 36



I keep getting an event error message as follows:
Source: W32Time
Event id:36
"The time service has not been able to synchronize the
system time for 49152 seconds because none of the time
providers has been able to provide a usable time stamp.
The system clock is unsynchronized."

When this happens I am knocked off the internet then
after a few minutes it reconnects. I'm using comcast
cable connect thru a Linksys befsr41 router.

FYI, This is a home computer. I'm running XP home SP1,
512 ram, AMD Athlon XP-A 3000, MSI MS-6734 motherboard,
Via VT8378(A) chipset, award bios v6.00PG,
award bios message: W6734Ve7 v1.2 111403,
system bios date 11/14/03.


don't know about being knocked off the net but a update in
the april disaster of critical updates is causing this time
glitch. turn on auto time syncronizing and see if any
Sep 28, 2019
Reaction score
"W32Time. Event ID 36. The time service has not been able to synchronize the system time for 49152 seconds because none of the time providers has been able to provide a usable time stamp. The system clock is unsynchronized."

When a user sees this Event ID 36 being thrown, even though the computer is synchronizing regularly and/or manually, it is being caused by a specific application (in my case it was Mozilla Sunbird) calling w32Time directly to try to effect a resynchronization. If that specific synchronization fails, then this error message is thrown. The error message is not truly descriptive or accurate regarding what has actually occurred. The number 49152 quoted is simply an artifact, being derived directly from a calculation based on the value of MaxPollInterval, and the number actually has no bearing on the true amount of time that has expired unsynchronized.

An error message more along the lines of "W32Time was unable to perform the synchronization requested by an application," without mention of any "elapsed time unsynchronized," would be more precise and useful. It appears that the coder simply didn't bother to develop the better error message, instead re-purposing the error message already available. Or perhaps the error is just dropping out of the bottom of the error subroutine, defaulting to this message.

The above-referenced calculation is 2 raised to the MaxPollInterval power x 1.5. The default MaxPollInterval value is 15. 2 to the 15th power = 32,768. 32,768 seconds x 1.5 = 49,152 seconds. Thus the intent is that W32Time should wait no longer than 32,768 seconds to attempt a synchronization. And that 49,152 should be the point at which W32Time throws an Event ID 36 error to the inform the user if no successful synchronization occurs by that time.

However most users do not see Event ID 36 throw in every-day/default usage because MinPollInterval and MaxPollInterval values are being superseded by the value of SpecialPollInterval. Such is the case when the entries for the time servers to be polled (listed in the NtpServer key) are appended with ",0x1". And, indeed, "time.windows.com, 0x1" is, historically, the default entry. (And typical instructions regarding how to adjust the list of time servers include the appending of ", 0x1".) The default entry for SpecialPollInterval is 604,800 (seconds, or exactly 7 days). So, in every-day/default usage, Event ID 36 will not throw unless 10.5 days has passed without a successful synchronization. (If the NtpServer key entries are not appended, then the MinPollInterval and MaxAPollInterval are indeed in force.)

If the computer is not connected to the Internet (ie, not connected to a domain), then the "elapsed unsynchronized time" does not increment at all, as the scenario is such that it is not possible for the computer to synchronize at all.

Again, if a user sees this EventID 36 W32Time error message -- and the computer hasn't actually expired its allotted time limit before the error message ought normally occur, and/or it is known that the computer is regularly and/or manually synching correctly -- then the cause is an application calling W32Time to synchronize and then that specific synchronization failed. So W32Time throws its/this standard "couldn't synch" error message, where the message isn't truly informing what occurred and the number it contains is not accurate.

MaxPollInterval is found at HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Config\

MinPollInterval is found at HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Config\

SpecialPollInterval is found at HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\TimeProviders\NtpClient

NtpServer is found at HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Parameters

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