I am designing a workflow in sharepoint designer to manage the approval process for an infopath form. I am using sharepoint server 2007. My sharepoint site already has a form library dedicated to the approval form and I have already attached my workflow to the form library. My problem is that when I try to add a second step to my custom workflow, I always get the error "failed on start (retrying)" in the workflow status column of the form library when I initiate a workflow on a form. If I use only one step in my workflow, however, I get no errors. So does anyone know why adding multiple steps to a workflow would cause this error? This is super frustrating. Thanks.

Note: I would post a screenshot, but I just joined stack overflow. So I cannot post images yet :/

Edit: My workflow is as follows:

  • Can be started manually or automatically by creation of an item

Step 1

Conditions: None

Actions:(all actions in step 1 executed in parallel)

  • Send an email to several sharepoint groups

  • Email the creator of the item

  • set a field in the current item (called "Workflow Status") to the number 1

  • Same task is assigned to several sharepoint groups (same groups a referenced in the first action).

Step 2


  • If field in current item equals "yes"


  • Set a field in the current (called "Workflow Satus") to the number 5


  • Else if field in current item equals "no"


  • Set a field in the current (called "Workflow Satus") to the number 0

  • Assign task to the creator of the item.

  • Can you describe the workflow in detail? What activities did you include? Did you check ULS logs for error messages? Does the workflow finish successfuly after restart? Mar 5, 2013 at 21:14
  • Unfortunately I cannot access the ULS Logs, and the workflow never actually restarts. Mar 12, 2013 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


The core 'feature' of SharePoint's workflow is the fact it is executed as part of the process that triggered its launch. So, when invoked as a consequence of an event caused by the user in the UI, it runs on the ASP.NET worker process. Because such execution may not block the UI, SharePoint automatically detects the complexity of the workflow, and if it is 'too complex' the workflow is terminated, and rescheduled to restart. The restart is the triggered by a system timer job, which runs within the 'owstimer.exe' process. At this place, the workflow won't block any other job, so it can run for a long time.

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