SharePoint 2013 CorrelationID Error Attempting to Create New Sites

We have a SharePoint Farm that used to have Nintex Workflow installed.  Following procedures set by Nintex, we uninstalled Nintex Workflow, and the Farm ran well for a few months.  We did test almost everything we could think of, including new site creation, but suddenly it's not working properly.

Oddly, we get this error regardless if the template being used to create the site is something we customized, or if it's an out of the box SharePoint 2013 template.

What we are seeing is a CorrelationID error:

SharePoint Correlation ID Error Example
Looking at the proper ULS log under the 14 hive, we see the following errors:

02/04/2015 09:52:39.48       w3wp.exe (0x2364)                             0x1D18      SharePoint Foundation               General                             b9y9      High          Failed to read resource file "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\Resources\NWResource.resx" from feature id "(null)".      450adb56-7d63-46a6-ac84-a07771a5d146

02/04/2015 09:52:39.48       w3wp.exe (0x2364)                             0x1D18      SharePoint Foundation               General                             8e26      Medium        Failed to open the language resource keyfile NWResource.      450adb56-7d63-46a6-ac84-a07771a5d146

02/04/2015 09:52:39.48       w3wp.exe (0x2364)                             0x1D18      SharePoint Foundation               General                             8l3c      Medium        Localized resource for token '_ContentType_WF_Group_Name' could not be found for file with path: "(unavailable)".      450adb56-7d63-46a6-ac84-a07771a5d146

02/04/2015 09:52:39.48       w3wp.exe (0x2364)                             0x1D18      SharePoint Foundation               General                             b9y3      High          Failed to open the file 'C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\Resources\NWResource.en-US.resx'.      450adb56-7d63-46a6-ac84-a07771a5d146

Does anyone have an idea of how to fix this?

Reinstalling Nintex is likely not an option.  I'll take any suggestions, as our farm is currently unable to create ANY new sites.
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gerhardubConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
So, Nintex technical support worked with us quite a bit...

<Solution to my issue is at the bottom of this post>

To their credit, they busted their butts on this.  Over time, they can probably help us uninstall the product cleanly enough that out Nintex Contnet Type left overs could be resolved.

However, we have opted to stop trying to resolve it, and put the engineer time into migration using a third party tool to strip out the crap we don't want to take with us.

Here are the glaring issues when uninstalling Nintex Workflow:

1) A standard uninstall of Nintex Worlflow does not remove any content objects associated with Nintex Workflow.  As such, any site, list, document library, etc. that once used some part or aspect of Nintex Workflow is, for lack of a better word, contaminated with Nintex Workflow.*

2) Once the feature are turned off at the top-level-site, and the solution retracted and deleted from the farm (which also includes uninstalling it from all of the servers in your farm), anything the used the Nintex Content Types will be broken.

3) If your sites or templates have any of these content types, then you will start receiving errors when you retract the solution from Central Admin.

4) Because Nintex's uninstall instructions are not CLEAR about what will happen if you fail to removed ALL lists, etc. where Nintex was enabled, you have no forewarning of the imminent destruction of the functionality of your FARM.

Now, I don't any everyone to think it's simply a Nintex issue, it's not.

However, Nintex Workflow is deployable anywhere once you turn it on, and it's not easy to find and remove.

Technical support and us spend about 15 hours working on this issue, and were not successfully able to remove it.  (Though I'm absolutely positive that Nintex Support would have been able to do so after another marathon session.)

The SOLUTION to the problem is simple:

1) Reinstall Nintex Workflow on one of your application servers
2) Deploy the solution to only the site-collection suffering the issue

Bang, your correlation issues will go away, and, if you were have an issue where SharePoint 2010 was looking for a Nintex resource file, that will also be resolved.

Keep in mind that your migration will likely require a 3rd party migration tool.

* To be clear, any third party solutions can cause these issues when removed.  The important thing is HOW THE VENDOR explains what needs to be done during the uninstall process.
Jamie McAllister MVPSharePoint ConsultantCommented:
Try one or more of the below;

1. Contact Nintex for advice.
2. Fake the resource file in the path with a standard resource file
3. Hunt for the references in site templates that have these changes, and unghost them - looks like the Nintex solution changed them, but you should be able to change them to the oriignal site definition e.g. with SharePoint Designer
4. Find out what recent change made this start happening - installs? Patches? what?
gerhardubAuthor Commented:
We'll see what Nintex has to say, as of yesterday they were not being helpful, as I had not heard a peep from them.

Do you know the procedure for how to unhook the references in the site template? Is that a specific file or multiple files?, etc.

We recently applied that latest SP 2010 service pack and CU, but I'm uncertain as to if that did anything related to Nintex or not. It does appear that Nintex left some hooks... We've had nothing but issues uninstalling this.  I have this opinion that they rarely see someone get rid of their product.
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Jamie McAllister MVPSharePoint ConsultantCommented:
The way I'd approach this is as follows;

Tread carefully, as this is a production server!

Do a text search for "NWResource.resx" in my 14 hive to see which files reference this text. This is probably Masterpages and Page Layouts.

Examine these files in SharePoint Designer (not editing and not from the server directly!) just to see if they have been modified from site definition, as there's an option in that tool to set them back to the site definition version.

btw I researched Nintex recently, and I'm afraid to say that some people's feedback about their support is less than positive...
gerhardubAuthor Commented:
Thanks... Wilco...

Yeah, the Nintex issue starts over a year ago.  They would only troubleshoot the issue on Australian time; so the senior developers were available at 3PM or later US EST only.

They have since restructured and created a US support team, and, thus far, be more responsive.  The issue has been forwarded to their VP of Support, but I have yet to hear from them.  So I'll start with your suggestions...

I'll let everyone know what the outcome is.  I am preplexed how it leaves so many hooks, but I am a system guy, not on the dev side for SharePoint.   ...though I'm learning fast. -grin-

Back to you sometime today.
gerhardubAuthor Commented:

So the issue MAY be related to the web.config file for the primary site collection.

This document at Nintex, which is a more complete version of the document I used originally, seems to cover the web.config.

The folks at DocPoint Solutions pointed out to me...

I'll let you know what happens.
gerhardubAuthor Commented:

So, here is what we've done to date:

- Edited the web.config file to ensure that no lines items with the word "nintex" exist in them.
-- (I'm told that it's possible for SharePoint to re-add them to the web.config files in certain instances.)

- Ran a power script to look for the universal application ID for Nintex, to see if it's still considered deployed to any sites

- Created a new site collection to test an see if there were issues with the Farm itself, there are not, a new site collections works fine

- Looked at the content types and determined that Nintex did not remove the content types during the uninstall. (We followed the removal instructions completely.)

- Determined a possible solution: Create an new solution with the same application ID, but a newer version number.

What this last concept will do it install a new solution with a newer version build.  It is a fake solution, but it has the newer build number, so SharePoint 2010 will associate any of the Nintex Workflow content types with it.

Then, you can delete the content types and/or remove the solution, and the calls for the resource files in the 14 hive will go away.  Fixing you're issue.

A senior support guy at Nintex came up with that idea, and I have to say, that's pretty brilliant.

You don't install Nintex Workflow again, you install something with the same application ID and a newer build number.  SharePoint's API instantly thinks its a new version of the application and associates everything with the fake solution.  You then do whatever you need to (delete content types, retract the solution, etc.) and the site-collection is fixed.

It would be nicer is the Nintex Workflow cleanly uninstalled.  I've reviewed all of our history, and at this point the only thing that we did differently was to use the SharePoint UI to remove the "hidden" Nintex folders at the root of the site collection (initally).  When that didn't work, we then used SharePoint 2010 Designer, which did.  However, the affected site-collection didn't do well with that.
Jamie McAllister MVPSharePoint ConsultantCommented:
I've recently opted not to purchase Nintex for my farm. Your answer makes me very happy about that.
gerhardubAuthor Commented:
So the issue with Nintex, like any other business productivity solution, is that there is a cost associated with empowering your user base.

People see the bells and whistles, and there are lots of really nice ones with Nintex Workflow, and don't think through the rest of the SDLC / requirements.

In our case, we down sized and the cost of the product was no longer worth it from a business case perspective.  Also, extremely complex workflows require maintenance as business rules change, or reality of how best to automate a process matures.

Nintex  is expensive.

...and when we went to remove it, it broke the site collection.

I will tell you that a year ago I had no faith in them at all. Great product, crappy support.

Now, I don't think the support is much of an issue... It's a fair amount better. More to the point, we no longer have maintainance on it, but they are helping us in good faith.

Also, from a migration perspective, they are working with companies such as Metalogix to ensure you can move from 2007 / 2010 to 2013 and maintain those workflows with minimal effort...

Some things to consider when looking at vendors in the same space.

A year ago... I would have never reconsidered them.... Now... Different story.
gerhardubAuthor Commented:
The solution is to reploy the WSP, it's a B because there is not detailed solution, and I was the person that submitted the question.
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