MDT Win7 Deployment with IE10 Fails

Windows could not parse or process unattend answer file [C:\windows\Panther\unattend.xml] for pass [specialize].
That's what you'll see if you try to deploy a MDT image of Windows 7 that you captured via "sysprep and capture" with Internet Explorer 10 on it, then tried to deploy. Seems a lot of people are having similar issues and all arrive at a similar answer: Remove part or all of IE from the Unattended.txt file of that MDT Task Sequence.
  • Read the above links to see what others have tried and had success with. For me it took opening Unattended.xml in the Task Sequence for deploying my new custom sysprep, which opens the xml in System Image Manager, then under "4 specialize" I removed the whole Internet Explorer tree. Others have gotten away with less.
  • If you just need to boot the OS you just deployed, you can stop the reboot-cycle by waiting for the error, hitting Shift-F10 for Command Prompt, and using regedit to change HKLM/SYSTEM/Setup/Status/ChildCompletion/setup.exe to 3.
As a review, what I did to create this scenario:
  1. Install fresh Windows 7 Pro x64
  2. Install all Microsoft Updates, rebooting for hours, including Internet Explorer 10
  3. Use Sysprep and Capture Task Sequence (Litetouch)
  4. Deploy that .wim via a new Task Sequence
  5. Watch as your new OS boots, errors, waits for click, reboots, errors again... etc.