Word Automation Service adds file to library – workflow fails to start

I have a feature which is enabled. Feature has a library and event receiver. The library is created when the feature is enabled on a site. The feature takes files submitted to this library, sends them to the Word Automation Service which then returns a PDF file.

It all works great including a Workflow I have attached to the list which deletes the Word document after 5 minutes because we only want PDF’s in this library.

The part that doesn’t work is anytime the Word Automation Service sends a file to this library, any workflows fail with an abrupt – Failed on Start.

Errors in the Workflow logs are:

Workflow [workflow name] was canceled by System Account
[workflow name] failed to start



1 Answer


This is happening because the PDF file is getting created by System Account.

Workaround is to enable

stsadm -o setproperty -pn declarativeworkflowautostartonemailenabled -pv true

For more information blogs.technet.com/b/victorbutuza/archive/2009/03/14/workflows-do-not-start.aspx