One example scenario:
The command running with group-related options is not exporting all elements in the group. it is only exporting a few elements and with no way to know what elements it will exported.
The command without group-related option is exporting all elements.
nhExportConfig command usage states: " By default, the exported Element DCI file always includes the Elements and Associations sections". However, when -sections "GroupLists,GroupListContents" is specified, the resulting DCI output contains only "Groups,GroupContents, GroupLists,GroupListContents" sections. "Elements" section is empty, and there is no "Associations" section.
There is a common misunderstanding of what "by default" means in the usage.
The default is to always include the Elements and Associations section.
If you provide the -sections parameter, then you are overriding the default. If you exclude the Elements and Associations sections from your list of arguments to the -sections parameter, then they will not necessarily beincluded.