Error creating out of the box workflows

When you’re used to troubleshooting SharePoint, unfortunately things that touch SharePoint are things you need to troubleshoot as well. In this case Internet Explorer and Group Policy settings ended up being my issue.

The customer I was working with had provisioned and setup a Multi-Tenant SharePoint 2010 instance through all powershell scripts.  The provisioning went perfectly except for some interesting issues that popped up.

Whenever we tried to create a site column or create an out of the box workflow SharePoint would error out and gave a correlation ID.  I tested the same exact functionality by creating a new site collection under the same multi-tenant web application in SharePoint’s central admin.  Since it wasn’t provisioned through powershell it wasn’t truly a multi-tenant site and therefore the issue didn’t show it self there.  So I narrowed it down that it was definitely a multi tenant site and it was something about the session state.

We would get the following errors in the ULS logs when testing the workflow:

o   Name=Request (GET:

 o   Site=/

 o   Updates are currently disallowed on GET requests.  To allow updates on a GET, set the ‘AllowUnsafeUpdates’ property on SPWeb.

 o   System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException: Updates are currently disallowed on GET requests.  To allow updates on a GET, set the ‘AllowUnsafeUpdates’ property on SPWeb. at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequestInternalClass.ValidateFormDigest(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName)   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.ValidateFormDigest(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName)

 o   Leaving Monitored Scope (Request (GET: Execution Time=23.9002443047929

The first thing I did was go about AllowUnsafeUpdates to see if that would have an effect. It did not clear up the issue right away.


After that update we were getting these errors in the ULS log when testing the workflow:

  • Name=Request (GET:
  • Site=/
  • System.ArgumentNullException: Value cannot be null. Parameter name: g

at System.Guid..ctor(String g)

at Microsoft.Office.Workflow.WrkAssocPage.AssociationOnLoad(EventArgs ea)

at Microsoft.Office.Workflow.CstWrkflIPPage.OnLoad(EventArgs ea)

at System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive()

at System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint)

  • Leaving Monitored Scope (Request (GET: Execution Time=69.2073992644317


This series of errors was also what I was seeing when trying to deploy a site column as well so the two issues were definitely related. I did some internal lookups with some of the tools we have in Microsoft and saw an obscure reference to the “InfoPath_Sentinal=1” string that is being tacked onto the url that you see in the second set of error logs above.

One of them mentioned something about cookies on the browser, I suppose the tie in was that in a multi tenant site the session state is handled differently to be able to get information that is requested in the InfoPath-ish form that is being served up once you select the type of workflow you want, give it a name and tell it to kick off on a new item. Again simple out of the box workflow that was bound to a normal document library.

So to test my theory I navigated to the site on a machine that had a browser that had full rights that the GPO didn’t dictate so cookies were fully enabled. Wouldn’t you know it worked like a charm.

So the fix for this is either (or a combination of the two) allowing updates and making sure cookies isn’t disabled on the browser.

Good Luck!

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