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Workflow Hero

Parent Workflow Instance Error After Workflow Data Purge

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I've run into an issue and I am hoping to get some assistance/direction.  Here it goes:

Nintex Workflow 2010

SharePoint Server 2010

Yesterday morning I ran two purges using the Nintex Workflow Management > Purge workflow data option in Central Administration.  The first purge was for deleting workflow instances "Where the list or library has been deleted" which deleted approximately 7k entries and the second was using a custom filter with criteria "Last activity is before" (date used 6/1/2012) which deleted approximately 100k entries.

The issue I'm experiencing now is that workflows that were in a running state on a few lists are now starting to error out with an error mentioning missing a parent workflow instance for that workflow.  Seems as though these got removed somehow, likely with the "Where the list or library has been deleted" option, but why??.  In looking up the missing workflow instance ID in SQL Management Studio on the SQL Server where the Nintex Workflow Database resides, it is indeed missing from the database, and it exists in a backup taken of that database from the previous night.

Now how to fix this?  If I restore the backed up version of the Nintex Workflow DB, I will lose all of the user data for workflows started yesterday.  I have a support case opened for this issue but the response times are horrendous and the technician responded to an older email requesting more information after I had already sent a subsequent email to my original one with updated information.

I'm located in the US (EST) and was told by the UK office this morning (US office still closed) that the technician assigned to my case is in Australia, which is not very helpful given the drastic time zone difference.

Please help!



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Workflow Hero

Re: Parent Workflow Instance Error After Workflow Data Purge

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Hi Rick,

Thanks for meeting with me today. I'm posting this to help anyone else that may also have this issue.

To recover theworkflow history, you will need to mount the DB on the SQL server under a different name (IE: NW2010DB_TEMP_Restore). Once mounted you can use the NWAdmin -o movedata command (adding the source and destination connection strings to the command) to recover the data.

The tool will find all data relating to the site(s) specified in the recovered database and add them to theoriginal database. This should not affect any of the existing workflow data within the original database, but I highly recommend taking a backup of the original DB prior to running the move just to be safe.

The last page of the document here: should give you a little more detail the procedures to recover the workflow data.


Chad Austin

Nintex Support

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Workflow Hero

Re: Parent Workflow Instance Error After Workflow Data Purge

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Hey Chad,


Thanks SO much for your help today with our issue and also the extra SQL assistance. I know you went above and beyond for that and I appreciate it. You're extremely knowledgeable with Nintex and your SQL skills are on point! Smiley Happy.

Are you on LinkedIn? Cool if I add you to my network if you are?

Sent from my iPhone