Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sharepoint Workflows - Failed on Start (retrying)

This ought to be a lot of *fun* troubleshooting.  It’s the biggest product that I support for my company and also, at times, the most complex.  As you may have already seen this Workflow Error: Failed on Start (retrying), I have not.  At least not from a well formed workflow.  I’ve seen this come from the accidental infinite loop, so with that aside, this has become a nasty problem for me.  Currently this is happening on all workflows, once it’s initiated.  I have workflows that fire when an item is created, some that only fire manually, and others that fire when the item has changed…  A digital medley of workflow love.  All of these are having the same problem, all at once.

Things that make you go HMMMMM

This has got to be from the recent upgrade I just went through.  I upgraded to SP2 because of another error I was getting with content types.  Go figure, move from one problem to another ;-).  Sometimes I feel stranded on an island, but then I turn to the Sharepoint Community for help and they are always right there.  Websites like SharepointOverflow.com, Stump the Panel, and I can’t forget Twitter!  Without these websites and the people that converse within them, I wouldn’t do SharePoint.  It’d be too much for just me to handle.

 The AH HA moment (More like well it’s fixed now, so I’ll move on)

Listed below are the errors I was able to pull from the ULS logs on my server.

Errors:

05/11/2010 16:42:24.97*
w3wp.exe (0x208C)
0x1B14
Windows SharePoint Services
Workflow Infrastructure
936l
High
...eExecutor(Guid instanceId, CreationContext context, WorkflowExecutor executor, WorkflowInstance workflowInstance) at System.Workflow.Runtime.WorkflowRuntime.Load(Guid key, CreationContext context, WorkflowInstance workflowInstance) at System.Workflow.Runtime.WorkflowRuntime.GetWorkflowExecutor(Guid instanceId, CreationContext context) at System.Workflow.Runtime.WorkflowRuntime.InternalCreateWorkflow(CreationContext context, Guid instanceId) at System.Workflow.Runtime.WorkflowRuntime.CreateWorkflow(Type workflowType, Dictionary`2 namedArgumentValues, Guid instanceId) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOeHostServices.Send(SPWinOeWorkflow winoeworkflow, SPWorkflowEvent e) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOeEngine.RunWorkflow(Guid trackingId, SPWorkflowHostServi...

05/11/2010 16:42:24.97*
w3wp.exe (0x208C)
0x1B14
Windows SharePoint Services
Workflow Infrastructure
936l
High
...ce host, SPWorkflow workflow, Collection`1 events, TimeSpan timeOut)

05/11/2010 16:42:24.97
w3wp.exe (0x208C)
0x1B14
Windows SharePoint Services
Workflow Infrastructure
936l
High
Engine RunWorkflow: System.Workflow.ComponentModel.Compiler.WorkflowValidationFailedException: The workflow failed validation. at System.Workflow.Runtime.WorkflowDefinitionDispenser.ValidateDefinition(Activity root, Boolean isNewType, ITypeProvider typeProvider) at System.Workflow.Runtime.WorkflowDefinitionDispenser.LoadRootActivity(Type workflowType, Boolean createDefinition, Boolean initForRuntime) at System.Workflow.Runtime.WorkflowDefinitionDispenser.MruCache.GetOrGenerateDefinition(Type type, String xomlText, String rulesText, Byte[] md5Codes, Boolean initForRuntime, Boolean& exist) at System.Workflow.Runtime.WorkflowDefinitionDispenser.GetRootActivity(Type workflowType, Boolean createNew, Boolean initForRuntime) at System.Workflow.Runtime.WorkflowRuntime.Initializ...

As I was gathering information to troubleshoot this error, suddenly, the workflows *just work*!  OH WOW!  Since I’m a big fan of “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”, I’ll be leaving this alone for now.  If anyone has a clue as to how this could’ve happened, feel free to drop a comment.  Please note that all of my workflows are built in SPD only.  Nothing custom and no OOTB workflows have been built.  I’m sure I’ll be updating this article again…

Update:
This may be a fix: http://blogs.msdn.com/wael/archive/2008/01/11/workflow-failed-on-start-retrying.aspx; specifically this command: Lodctr /R "c:\Windows\Microsoft.Net\Framework\v3.0\Windows Workflow Foundation\perfcounters.ini".
I'm not going to run it until the thing breaks again, so we'll have to wait.

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