Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Time and trouble

I'm still reconstructing my PC system after the disk got trashed. I didn't lose any important files nor my ham radio stuff. But many of the configuration settings that Microsoft helpfully squirrels away in hidden locations like the registry or somewhere off Documents and Settings were not backed up. Mea culpa. Unfortunately I never came across a full backup system that I liked (I purchased Acronis but it was full of bugs that they want you to pay for an upgrade to sort out.

I keep on discovering things that need to be restored. I was getting some gobbledygook decodes from WSJT-X and then remembered that I needed to install Meinberg NTP. But the installation failed: the service wouldn't start, reporting the error that "NTP failed to respond in a timely manner." There is a note on the Meinberg website that the service might fail unless you install some Visual Studio restributable package, so I installed it but still no luck. I've run Meinberg NTP for years and have recommended it to everyone and it's so annoying that I can't install it.

Hacking the registry to up the frequency of Windows Time updates.
Nothing for it but to rely on good old Windows Time Service. I found the registry hack that lets you increase the frequency of updates. I also changed the time server to europe.pool.ntp.org which responded much more quickly that time.windows.com. Hopefully that will do the trick. I hunted for an old version of Meinberg from before 2009 which I must have installed when I first set the PC up, but no luck.
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