Got Mac mini from local school district as surplus. Can't use it. What can I do?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by cammykool, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. cammykool macrumors regular

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    Sep 24, 2011
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    Anaheim, California
    #1
    [​IMG]

    I can't get past the setup there. That's from an image I made with my Macbook. So it should be fine but I can't get past. Is there any idea where it's coming from. Firmware? Something in bios? I'm not sure. Can we get around it? Or is the computer useless? Thanks!
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #2
    Create a bootable Yosemite USB installer with a second Mac. Start up from that USB and reformat the Mac Mini's drive, then install a fresh copy of OS X.
     
  3. cammykool thread starter macrumors regular

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    Anaheim, California
    #3
    That's where that disk is from. My dads iMac. Never been in Jefferson county schools. Still did it. Q
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Delaware
    #4
    Boot while holding the Option key - What appears on the screen when you do that?

    Does the mini have a second drive?

    If you reset the PRAM, and double-check that you are booting to your USB installer, that should take care of any issue that is causing your mini to look on the internet for a configuration of some kind.
     
  5. aajeevlin macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Yea I'd say to go with he bootable USB route, and while you are in it you can use to Utility and wipe out the disk so you can start afresh. This should work, unless there is a hidden security feature that I don't know about.

    You can use Diskmaker X to make a bootable USB.
     
  6. Richdmoore macrumors 65816

    Richdmoore

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    #6
    Also, I would be good to know what Mac mini you purchased. It may not boot Yosemite if the computer is too old.

    (As it is a surplus computer I suspect it may be a few years old.)

    Any model numbers or serial numbers on the mac itself?
     
  7. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #7
    Apple DEP (device enrollment program) is what sets this up. It's like a firmware password and you can't get past it. DEP is a recent program and can't be applied to older devices so I wonder just how "surplus" this computer really is. You'll need to contact the school to have them disable it for this Mac.
     
  8. mr.steevo macrumors 65816

    mr.steevo

    Joined:
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    #8
    Yep. I agree.

    You may have a computer that might not have been for sale. There is probably a way around the DEP but you'd most likely need a lot more knowledge with code than just holding down the Option key or reseting the PRAM. You're stuck.
     
  9. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    Oct 17, 2013
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    Southern Cal
    #9
    Chain of Custody?

    Yes cammykool, my first thought when I saw your question was that you should call the IT department for the school district. My next thought was to wonder why they did not initialize the computer if it was intended for sale.
     
  10. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

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    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #10
    I work in a hospital/medical school and I can very easily see something like this happening.
    They do remodels and instead of paying for someone to come in and clean out the particular area they just contact a salvage company that actually pays the hospital for the privilege.
    As long as the computers weren't used for patient info then IT doesn't get involved and it all ends up loaded up and hauled away.
    I'd expect a school to be similarly frugal.
     
  11. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    Southern Cal
    #11
    Back To The Orchard!

    If this is the case then the school's IT department may not be able to defeat this security message either! Cnet says that newer Intel Macs with a certain specific chip must be physically brought to Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Center to circumvent this system.

    http://www.cnet.com/news/efi-firmware-protection-locks-down-newer-macs/

    http://www.atmel.com/Images/2535s.pdf
     
  12. chrfr macrumors 603

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    #12
    Apple's DEP isn't exactly like a firmware password. It can be removed from the system by the school, remotely.
     
  13. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    Oct 17, 2013
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    Southern Cal
    #13
    Is This A Surplus 2011(or 2012) Mac mini?

    Okay chrfr, the OP should try the school's IT department first, correct? The history of these device management/security programs does make you wonder about that question you mentioned.

    How does a three-year-old Mac end up as "surplus" for a typical cash-strapped school district?
     
  14. chrfr macrumors 603

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    #14
    Yes, the OP should contact the school. I suspect the school will want their computer back.
     
  15. mdmman macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2015
    #15
    Jeffco doesn't sell surplus

    I manage the Jeffco DEP program. Jefferson County School District does not sell surplus to the public. This Mac was either stolen or improperly disposed of. If it was improperly disposed of, we should be able to work something out. If it was stolen, I will have you take it to the Jefferson County Sheriff. Please contact me at the email address listed on the configuration page you posted so we can figure this out.
    Thanks.
     
  16. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

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    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #16
    I used to sideline deal in equipment like that. Just about every time I received a new batch of equipment, they came without hard drives. It made reusing the equipment a bitch sometimes, but I can't think of anyone (except a stock broker, believe it or not) that ever passed on a computer with a hard drive.

    I really had to laugh, one company even took out all of the RAM in their old Dell boxes (It was the expensive older style memory too). When we called them, they said that it 'could still hold corporate proprietary information'. :eek:

    All I could do was laugh in their ear...
     
  17. Richdmoore macrumors 65816

    Richdmoore

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    Troutdale, OR
    #17
    Beautiful. Even better would be integrated gps & a find my iPhone type setup in firmware to help recover "missing" equipment even after a hard drive wipe.

    If the OP was genuine, he should contact the email and work it out with them. He should charge back the credit card used if possible and give them the Mac mini back. If this is a stolen computer, its sounds like at least can return it without legal trouble to the sheriff now vs throwing it in a dumpster.
     
  18. -Ray- macrumors regular

    -Ray-

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    Pennsylvania
    #18
    Would love to see find out the outcome to this.

    How did the "it tech" even find this post?
     
  19. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Delaware
    #19
    Not too difficult, when the school district contact number and email are right on the OP.

    There are tech folks that prowl around these sites occasionally. :D
    Someone might have even called that office, as a courtesy.
     
  20. grandM macrumors 6502a

    grandM

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    #20
    Or the school dumped it for some reason, someone found it and now the school tries to do damage control. If it were stolen the school ought to know they had a computer missing...
     
  21. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #21
    Don't be naive. Most IT departments of both schools and corporations would not know where a third of their computers are at any given time. If the Mini was supposed to be in a conference room or what not, most wouldn't even realize it was missing. Even computers in a lab, if one or two were missing many (students and faculty) would just assume that it was broken and the IT department was "working on it" which is why it wasn't there.

    Further, especially in a school district, the IT department is grossly under funded which means there aren't enough people to keep tabs on equipment. It's cheaper to "lose a few" than to pay someone 50K a year to keep better track.

    I don't work for schools, but my father was an IT Manager for two different high schools. It was him and one other guy for a high school of almost 1000 students and about 200 computers (teachers, administration and labs). Not to mention the servers....
     
  22. chrfr macrumors 603

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    Jul 11, 2009
    #22
    Victim blaming? Seriously?
     
  23. Celerondon, Mar 24, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015

    Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
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    Southern Cal
    #23
    Surplus My Eye!

    More than a month later we have your outcome Ray.

    That "it tech" registered in February and made only the post that we saw. There has been no other visible activity on their account.

    Similarly, cammycool disappeared on Valentines day! After 100+ posts over more than 3 years, cammycool is no longer active on these forums. It is now obvious that chrfr and mr.steevo were correct in their suspicions. Next time users should take care to not be the "Gullible Gus" who unwittingly provides advice about how to break theft prevention measures on Apple equipment.
     
  24. cammykool, May 18, 2015
    Last edited: May 18, 2015

    cammykool thread starter macrumors regular

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    Anaheim, California
    #24
    Not meaning for a horrible bump but i wanted to tell the story of this mac:

    I go to a vocational school... The teacher got this from the district and was pretty much told he could do whatever he wanted with it as he was cut off from the normal Jeffco domain. it ended up having a bad hard disk as it died about a week after it arrived in our room. we are a Computer Science class and he asked me to look at it because i know my way around these macs. i told him the drive was dead and he said he didnt want to replace it so he said i could hjave it so i took it home reinstalled OSX and got this.. it dissapered a while later but my teacher did approach me the following Monday and said he made a mistake and needed it back. so i promptly reinstalled Yosemite and gave it back. it has sat in his office ever since. i became inactive because that MacMini was the last functioning mac i had. the MBP in my signature has been dead for months I am not a thief it was just a huge misunderstanding on my instructors part.
     
  25. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
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    Southern Cal
    #25
    Oops!

    In the future, be afraid when someone tries to give you something that they do not own. Do you understand how your belief that your teacher was "told he could do whatever he wanted with it" is incompatible with the fact that he ultimately "said he made a mistake and needed it back". Your teacher may have claimed that he was told that but I am skeptical, aren't you?

    Although you still think that your teacher "got" the computer from the district you are mistaken. The machine was possibly assigned to a computer lab. It could have been assigned to the teacher. The point is that that school district IT department did not give the computer away!

    Your teacher set you up! Big Time! This is the kind of misunderstanding that made Jameis Winston notorious for a goofy crab leg caper.

    Thanks for returning to explain. Ray ought to be satisfied now. :)
     

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