If your SP2010 Workflows are stuck in the Starting state

[This post is not meant to be an exhaustive treatise on this multi-faceted topic.]

If your SharePoint workflows run fine until you apply some kind of SharePoint update to the farm and then proceed to get stuck in a "starting state" (rather than "In Progress"), I have a couple suggestions to offer.  

First, check to see if one or both of the following conditions are true:

•There is a required column with no default value. The workflow starts before the Edit Properties window appears to enter a value for the required column.

•The "Require documents to be checked out before they can be edited" option is enabled.  

Try unchecking “require checkout to edit” from the list (or document library as the case may be) for the affected workflow.  If you can then run the workflow successfully after that such that the workflow status changes to “In Progress.”

If this fits your scenario, probably the best thing to do at this point would be to start a support case with the Microsoft SharePoint team.  Here's a good starting point for that: http://support.microsoft.com/ph/935/en-us.

Updating to the June 2013 CU or higher (I'd recommend the SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 2 instead of the June 2013 CU) will probably help.



Also see: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sharepointadminprevious/thread/5a6e6e83-b59f-4099-a86f-a07723ff2b98/

Additional search terms: Workflow work items was processed by timer job more than 5 times which means that it is stuck or took too long to complete.  Processing Root Cause: RC_SPWorkflowWorkItemStuck Nintex workflow broken workflow stuck workflow stopped work flow broken work flow stuck work flow  stopped 

Comments (2)
  1. Roxana says:

    In some cases, the workflows were getting stuck on starting every single time, regardless of whether they were SPD or OOB workflows.  I found that turning off the 'Require documents to be checked out before they can be edited' option on the library solved the problem.

  2. Sergio says:

    Hi, just as an update, SP2 only includes updates up to an including April 2013 CU so applying SP2 would not resolve this issue (in fact if you applied the June 2013 CU to resolve it and then applied SP2 you would roll back the fix).  See blog.droogendijk.be for details.

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