Break Mac Mini out of DEP/MDM

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by andrerichards2010, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. andrerichards2010 macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2018
    Hey all,

    I need a method of breaking a Mac Mini I own out of Apple's DEP (device enrollment program) controlled by another party. I don't care about the method or how it needs to be done, but I need a way to break this out of the MDM control or get around it.

    I've searched the web for how to do this and I realize that this topic is controversial and can provoke some very heated debates but please allow me to explain. This my first post here and the last thing I want to do is cause trouble. And please please please do not respond by berating me or lecturing me about the ethics of this. There's a very long story involving office politics behind it. Here's the whole sordid tale for those of you wondering why I'm asking.

    I left my IT position at a large ad/marketing company about 14 months ago. At the time, the company was working through the process of phasing out the Macs and replacing them with PCs. We had a lot of perfectly good Macs sitting on the shelves heading eventually for recycling. I asked my boss during my last two weeks if I might be allowed to take one of the 2014 Mac Minis given the circumstances. She said it would be okay with her. Another IT manager in the company (let's call him Jeff) disagreed with her and felt this was inappropriate.

    Given the disagreement, my boss went to the IT director (i.e., everyone's boss) and asked. The IT director approved the idea because the machine had no company info on it and because it would just end up being thrown out anyway. No big deal, although Jeff seemed a tad annoyed by this decision and told me that he felt it was "wrong."

    So, the Mini sits on my desk at home for a year until I decide it's time to fire it up, thinking I might use it as a media machine or jukebox for my music. I start by doing a wipe and reinstall of the OS at which time I discovered that the machine has been enrolled in DEP and locked down by a mobile device management system. A notice comes up while I'm setting the machine up that it will be configured remotely by my former employer and shows Jeff's email address as the admin.

    So, the machine is effectively bricked for no good reason other than someone at the company disagreed with his superior about me taking it.

    It turns out in the 14 months since I quit, my former boss has moved on to another company and the IT director who approved this took an early retirement. I tried emailing them both to ask them to rectify this but no luck. I also sent Jeff a polite email asking if he would remove the Mini from DEP so I could use it and he declined saying it wasn't something he had the authority to approve—even though he knows darn well this was approved (via company email which I no longer have access to, of course.)

    So, you might understand my frustration. I got this approved by the IT director and now it's being held hostage by a manager who is playing petty games with me. Office politics at its worst. So, I'm hoping for a way to circumvent this and break the Mini out of the DEP he's using to keep it locked down.

    Thanks for any help any of you can offer.
  2. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    There’s no way to bypass DEP on that computer.
  3. leo-tech macrumors regular


    Sep 23, 2017
    If you really like Mac Mini so much - why don't you go to the Apple shop and just buy one?
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    You have no pathway to remove the DEP.
    Either live with it, or recycle the Mini you have and buy a 2018 model.

    The 2018 model will be much improved, anyway.

    (channeling detective Joe Friday):
    "that is all..."
  5. Marshall73, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018

    Marshall73 macrumors 68000


    Apr 20, 2015
    Strip it for parts and sell it on eBay sans the logic board. Use the cash to buy a new one. Also, why did it take a year for you to turn it on?
  6. andrerichards2010 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2018
    I already have a primary computer so I didn't really need this Mini. It sat on my desk for almost a year before I got around to turning it on. Wasn't sure what I was going to use it for but I was able to wipe the machine and re-install the OS. I haven't tried again since. Still sitting here unused.

    I've done a little more searching around and have read that it's possible to get around the DEP by changing the serial number but that sounds kind of skunky to me and I have no idea how I would do that. I just wish I wasn't dealing with someone's petty behavior. It's a nice little machine that will likely never get used. Oh well.
  7. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    Probably the same reason it took them 7 months to reply back to their own thread ... :D

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7 December 8, 2018