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Microsoft KB Archive/101753

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Knowledge Base

PC DirSync: When to Use the Time Zone Option with Dir-Sync

Article ID: 101753

Article Last Modified on 1/23/2007


  • Microsoft Mail for PC Networks 3.0
  • Microsoft Mail for PC Networks 3.2

This article was previously published under Q101753


The Time Zone (TZ) variable is an environment variable that ADMIN.EXE and DISPATCH.EXE use to adjust the directory synchronization (Dir-Sync) process times.

The only time you may need to use the TZ variable is when your remote postoffice administrators in different time zones schedule their own postoffices' Dir-Sync activity, but expect DISPATCH.EXE to be run centrally (in one time zone). In other words, if you schedule Dir-Sync with an ADMIN.EXE program located in Tokyo but run DISPATCH.EXE from Los Angeles, you then need the Time Zone variable on the computer running ADMIN.EXE in Tokyo and the computers running ADMIN.EXE and DISPATCH.EXE in Los Angeles.


There are four possible configurations of ADMIN.EXE and DISPATCH.EXE that can be used:

  • Both ADMIN.EXE and DISPATCH.EXE are run from one location and go to postoffices in one time zone. TZ is not needed in this scenario.
  • Both ADMIN.EXE and DISPATCH.EXE are run from one location and go to postoffices in multiple time zones. TZ is not needed in this scenario either.
  • ADMIN.EXE is run from multiple time zones, and DISPATCH.EXE is run from one location. This scenario needs the TZ variable set for each computer running ADMIN.EXE, and the computer running DISPATCH.EXE.
  • ADMIN.EXE and DISPATCH.EXE are run from multiple locations in multiple time zones. TZ needs to be set on all computers running ADMIN.EXE and DISPATCH.EXE.

When the TZ parameter is needed, use the MS-DOS (or OS/2) SET command to set the TZ environment variable on the workstation(s) running DISPATCH.EXE and all workstations running ADMIN.EXE. Because ADMIN.EXE is used to configure the process times for Dir-Sync, it must be time- zone aware and this is done via the TZ environment variable.

The TZ variable is of the form xxxtttyyy, where:

   xxx is the time zone code (any three characters will suffice).

   ttt is the time difference between Greenwich Time and local time. Times
       west of Greenwich are positive, times east can be negative.

   yyy is a placeholder to tell DISPATCH.EXE that Daylight Saving Time
       (U.S. only) is in effect.


For example, to use the Pacific Time Zone TZ variable, enter the following:

set tz=pst8

To set Sydney, Australia time, enter either:

set tz = ast-10


set tz=ast14

Either method is acceptable. The difference is that the negative time is subtracted by DISPATCH.EXE, while the positive time is added when determining the time DISPATCH.EXE will run the Dir-Sync process on that postoffice.

If the TZ environment variable is not set, the default time zone used will be pst8pdt.

Alternatively, the times for Dispatch to perform Dir-Sync can be manually adjusted to compensate for the differences in time zones between the postoffices.

Additional query words: 3.00 3.20 dirsync

Keywords: KB101753