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I was using the following code to convert Word documents to PDF, and it was working fine.

$sc = new-object Microsoft.Office.Word.Server.Conversions.syncconverter("Word Automation Services")
$sc.UserToken = $web.site.usertoken
$sc.settings.updatefields = $true
$sc.settings.outputformat = [Microsoft.Office.Word.Server.Conversions.SaveFormat]::PDF
$info = $sc.convert($url, $url+".pdf")

I left for lunch. When I came back, it wasn't working any more. I had started getting the following error in the ErrorMessage field:

The file could not be downloaded from the SharePoint library because the user's permissions have changed. Please contact your system administrator to determine how permissions can be restored.

All the google results show that this error message is related to something called the "Machine Translation Service" which I had never heard of.

"What has changed???" I thought to myself...

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I had been copying and pasting my code around. Previously, the $web variable was defined. Somewhere along the way, I renamed this variable, so the UserToken property was never set on the SyncConverter, so according to the Word Automation Service, I was basically an anonymous user.

Set your UserToken property!

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