Thursday 11 July 2013

C:\windows\Panther\unattend.xml [SOLVED] MDT 2012 Deployment, Windows 7

Problem Explanation

You've created a new image, captured it and attempted deployment and received the error: 

"Windows could not parse or process unattend answer file [C:\windows\Panther\unattend.xml] for pass [specialize]. A component or setting specified in the answer file does not exist."

Alternatively, you've just made a new MDT Task Sequence and slipstreamed updates into it and received the same error.


  • Infinitely looping on first boot
  • Windows has encountered a problem, press ok to restart.
  • C:\Windows\Panther\Unattend.xml Error (described above)

The cause of this is simple, it's internet explorer 10.0 which you have installed either within the image or slipstreamed into the image.


Actually simple, but only if you know where to look and since you've probably scrolled down and ignored everything I said above, I'll get to the point, follow these instructions:

  1. In your MDT Deployment Workbench, go to your list of task sequences.
  2. Right click the task sequence you are using to deploy out your new image with IE 10.
  3. Go to the properties of this task sequence.
  4. Choose the OSInfo tab and click "Edit Unattend.xml"
  5. Wait about a year for it to load up the catalogue.... (depending on your machine speed, this can take quite a while, this opens the Windows System Image Manager (WSIM)
  6. Go to Unattend -> Components -> Specialize
  7. Choose the Microsoft-Windows-IE-InternetExplorer-Neutral from the list
  8. Find IE-WelcomeMessage
  9. The Status should say false, if it doesn't make sure it does.
  10. Right click this value and in the context menu (the right click menu) UNTICK "write image value" (See Image for a visual aid)

11. Save the Unattend.xml and to be on the safe side update your deployment share (though I don't believe this is needed but it makes you feel better inside)
Reinstall your image onto your client and it should work fine for you now :D

EDIT [17-11-2013 - MDT 2013] 

Having spoken with some of my colleagues I have ascertained that by using MDT 2013 they have not encountered this issue, however if you need to maintain support to deploy Windows XP images then you will not be able to upgrade.