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We are encountering a strange behaviour with the OOTB SharePoint Workflows. Mainly, we use the Approval Workflow, but the problem seems to occur with the other available workflows.

Everything worked fine until a few days ago. For a reason we can't figure out, now, when we want to start a workflow, we get the following messages: "The workflow could not update the item, possibly because one or more columns for the item require a different type of information" or "The workflow operation failed because the workflow lookup found no matching item".

Of course, the first things we did was to go to https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/dev/general-development/common-error-messages-in-sharepoint-workflow-development, but the explanations found there were not very helpful.

We checked the logs and we found the following entries for the first case:

ListItemUpdate Success: My Scenario Success

System.ArgumentException: Item does not exist. It may have been deleted by another user.    
at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPList.GetItemById(String strId, Int32 id, String strRootFolder, Boolean cacheRowsetAndId, String strViewFields, Boolean bDatesInUtc, Nullable`1 bExpandQuery)    
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOEWSSService.RetrieveListItem(SPWeb web, Guid id, Guid listId, SPItemKey itemKey, Boolean allowCreate)    
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOEWSSService.UpdateModerationStatus(Guid id, Guid listId, SPItemKey itemKey, SPModerationStatusType newModerationStatus, String comments)

WinWF Internal Error, terminating workflow Id# 4c5e16aa-64a4-4733-af60-cc036e220ba9

ListItemUpdate Start: My Scenario Start

SPListItem.UpdateInternal Start

Failed to look up string with key "Content_Version", keyfile core.

Localized resource for token 'Content_Version' could not be found for file with path: "(unavailable)".

For the second case, we have something similare:

ListItemUpdate Success: My Scenario Success

System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.    
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOEWSSService.GetWebForWorkflow(SPWorkflow wf, SPWorkflowUserContext runAsUser)    
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOEWSSService.get_Web()    
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOEWSSService.GetWebForListItemService()    
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOEWSSService.UpdateModerationStatus(Guid id, Guid listId, SPItemKey itemKey, SPModerationStatusType newModerationStatus, String comments)

WinWF Internal Error, terminating workflow Id# d582a1a6-1b64-4b79-8f8d-db97bf07946f

System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.    
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOEWSSService.GetWebForWorkflow(SPWorkflow wf, SPWorkflowUserContext runAsUser)    
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOEWSSService.get_Web()    
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOEWSSService.GetWebForListItemService()    
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOEWSSService.UpdateModerationStatus(Guid id, Guid listId, SPItemKey itemKey, SPModerationStatusType newModerationStatus, String comments)    
at Microsoft.Office.Workflow.Actions.SetTaskProcessItemModerationStatus.DoUpdate(ActivityExecutionContext context)    
at Microsoft.SharePoint.WorkflowActions.WaitForDocumentUnlockActivity.Execute(ActivityExecutionContext executionContext)    
at Microsoft.Office.Workflow.Actions.SetTaskProcessItemModerationStatus.Execute(ActivityExecutionContext context)    
at System.Workflow.ComponentModel.ActivityExecutorOperation.Run(IWorkflowCoreRuntime workflowCoreRuntime)    
at System.Workflow.Runtime.Scheduler.Run()

ListItemUpdate Start: My Scenario Start

SPListItem.UpdateInternal Start

Failed to look up string with key "Content_Version", keyfile core.

Localized resource for token 'Content_Version' could not be found for file with path: "(unavailable)".

We searched over the Web for hours and try what was suggested in the following posts:

So, we tried to delete and recreate the workflows, checked the permissions, unchecked the "update the approval status" option, remove approval on the concerned libraries, but without any success. The lists and the libraries were not changed.

We also restarted the Service Timer and checked our web.config files (we have multiple servers).

The problem related to the .NET update in September 2018 was also fixed in September.

In our development and test environment, it works perfectly well. The last thing we did was to apply the KB 4462211 update.

Has anyone encountered such a behaviour? Any help would be much appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.

Best regards,

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Back in September last year there was a .NET patch that was dropped via Windows update that stopped all workflows from working. Depending on your patching cycle it might be worth checking this link

  • Thanks for your answer. Yes, it is right, but we already fixed this problem in September. – Lancelot Mar 28 at 11:14

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