Having bowled the home side out for 133 after claiming the extra half-hour they are permitted if a result is possible, Stephen Fleming's team were left with one over in which to score 12 to win, but Darren Bicknell and Graeme Swann could manage only eight against the left-arm seamer Neil Carter.
The umpires Ian Gould and Pasty Harris were obliged to pull out the stumps and ask the sides to turn up for a third day, at a financial cost to both counties. Given that the result is a formality, these were circumstances where common sense should have prevailed.
At least Warwickshire will avoid the indignity of losing inside two days for the first time since Surrey beat them by eight wickets here in 1993, although it is of small consolation. Nick Knight's team has been badly hit by injuries and international calls but there was little excuse for a woeful batting performance, even though the pitch was less than trustworthy.
Alex Loudon's off-spin yielded his best figures for Warwickshire, giving evidence of the turn that Swann would exploit later. But the game went away from the home side when David Hussey conjured an aggressive 77 off 81 balls, helping Nottinghamshire to a first-innings lead of 122.
Chris Read, struggling with a damaged ankle, came in at nine instead of six and hobbled between the wickets manfully to add 26, sparing himself some running with four boundaries.
Read tried to keep wicket but had to give up. There was no advantage to the home side, who were soon in trouble. Knight's slash to slip began a run of five wickets for 33 balls, three of them to Swann, whose 6 for 57 is his best return since moving to Trent Bridge.