Workflow Failed on Start (retrying)

Hi Readers,

Writing an interesting troubleshooting post in Sharepoint area, We have encountered the below error while executing workflows on the SharePoint

Workflow Failed on Start (retrying)


On checking further in ULS logs :

Load Workflow Class: System.Reflection.TargetInvocationException: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation. —> System.InvalidOperationException: The requested Performance Counter is not a custom counter, it has to be initialized as ReadOnly.     at System.Diagnostics.PerformanceCounter.Initialize()     at System.Diagnostics.PerformanceCounter..ctor(String categoryName, String counterName, String instanceName, Boolean readOnly)     at System.Workflow.Runtime.PerformanceCounterManager.CreateCounters(String name)     at System.Workflow.Runtime.Hosting.ManualWorkflowSchedulerService.OnStarted()     at System.EventHandler`1.Invoke(Object sender, TEventArgs e)     at System.Workflow.Runtime.WorkflowRuntime.StartRuntime()     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOeHostServices….

We have found that problematic sharepoint farm servers are missing Windows Workflow Foundation counter


Server with correct counters , see below:


We have followed the solutions mentioned on the Internet

Lodctr “c:\Windows\Microsoft.Net\Framework\v3.0\Windows Workflow Foundation\perfcounters.ini”

Lodctr /R “c:\Windows\Microsoft.Net\Framework\v3.0\Windows Workflow Foundation\perfcounters.ini”

Note: – we found percounters.ini at path C:\Windows\Microsoft.Net\Framework\v4.0.30319

Please change the path as per your environment.

Our issue was still persisting with same error.

Next step was to export the below registry keys from the working server & importing it on non working server.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Windows Workflow Foundation]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Windows Workflow Foundation]

After that we ran the above command again

Lodctr /R “C:\Windows\Microsoft.Net\Framework\v4.0.30319\perfcounters.ini”

This has resolved the issue partially, missing counters appeared in perfmon & workflow started working after retrying.

Again, we searched for the ULS logs & this time we found the real culprit.

Nintex workflow error was being encountered, Team has uninstalled the Nintex from this farm but there were steps that were missing.

On following  the missing steps mentioned in the below article, issue got resolved.

Removing the Nintex Workflow Database

  1. Open Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio and delete the associated Nintex Workflow database(s).

Removing entries from the Web.Config

  1. On the server’s file system, navigate to the folder hosting the web application (by default “C:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\virtualdirectories\80”).
  2. Open web.config with Notepad.
  3. Verify there is no reference to “Nintex.Workflow”. If there are any, delete them.
  4. Use stsadm.exe to run this command to remove farm properties added by Nintex Workflow:
    stsadm.exe –o setproperty –pn “NintexWorkflowServer2010License” –pv “”
  5. Use stsadm.exe to run this command:
    stsadm.exe –o setproperty –pn “NW2007ConfigurationDatabase” –pv “”
    Note: The reference to the NW2007ConfigurationDatabase is correct.
  6. You should also remove the following libraries and lists :






Tech Wizard





2 thoughts on “Workflow Failed on Start (retrying)

  1. Very good post..
    Last week we got the similar problem in one of our client.
    In our case, we created new SharePoint 2013 farm (3 tiers farm topology) on top of Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, fresh installation. We also installed Nintex Workflow 2013 in our farm.
    After all configuration was finished, we were able to create and publish workflow using Nintex Workflow 2013, but when we run the workflow, we got error. The error was similar with your case.
    After spent 2 days with troubleshooting with no result, we decided to contact Nintex support. The suggestion from Nintex was to create simple workflow using SharePoint designer.
    We created simple workflow using SharePoint designer, and when we run the workflow, the error remains the same. So, the problem is not the Nintex Workflow, but the SharePoint workflow.
    On the 3rd day of troubleshooting, I found your post and check the value of the following registry in the Application Server:
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Windows Workflow Foundation]
    The running farm should have two folder, which are “Linkage” and “Performance”.
    In our case, the “Performance” folder was not exist, so we imported the value from the running farm.
    After restart the server, we were able to run the workflow successfully.

    Thank you for your post, It is really help us..

  2. Thanks for the post. I really help me after two days of the issue fix. i try another methods. finally floow the steps and iisrest. it solved my problem. pls follow the below powershell script to remove the farm property
    $farm = get-spfarm
    $“NintexWorkflowServer2013License”) $“NW2007ConfigurationDatabase”)


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