openservice remoteregistry failed

So I was getting an “openservice remoteregistry failed” error trying to build a 2008 R2 failover cluster. Turned out to be a time issue. As you probably know, although Active Directory doesn’t rely on syncronized time, Kerberos does – and that impacts a lot of things that AD relies on.

So, after some time researching and seeing some really bad advice (mostly relating to “just reload your server and that should fix your problem” type guidance out there) I figured I should drop this out there in case anyone wants to save a couple hours of needless work.

FYI Microsoft best practice for time is for everything on your network to sync to your PDC emulator – and have that sync to an external (or even better, a hardware based) time source.

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