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A desired attribute in safety-critical embedded real-time systems is a system time and event synchronization capability on which predictable communication can be established. Focusing on bus-based communication protocols, we present a novel, efficient, and low-cost start-up and restart synchronization approach for TDMA environments. This approach utilizes information about a node's message length that forms a unique sequence to achieve synchronization such that communication overhead can be avoided. We present a fault-tolerant initial synchronization protocol with a bounded start-up time. The protocol avoids start-up collisions by deterministically postponing retries after a collision. We also present a resynchronization strategy that incorporates recovering nodes into synchronization.