Is it somehow an option to buy iMacs with Windows instead of Mac OS X?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by LOLZpersonok, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. LOLZpersonok macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #1
    My school just bought about 12 iMacs for the library which seems fine, only except they're all running Windows and I don't mean BootCamp either. It seems to be installed in the way Mac OS X is.

    They're the new, 2012 (Or 2013? I don't know) iMacs. When they boot up, there is no boot menu to select an operating system and it boots into Windows 8. I don't have a problem with using Windows 8 as I'm quite familiar with it, but it just seems so odd.

    I recall seeing them being setup and booted and there was never a Mac OS X screen. I know Apple does not sell any Mac with Windows (as far as I'm concerned) so my real question is, is there any other institutions using Windows on Macs? I don't understand what's the point, it's essentially buying a very expensive Windows machine. My school could've just bought Dell All-in-ones. My school does have a history of being weird, though.
     
  2. bensimpsy macrumors newbie

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    #2
    in Australia the commonwealth bank purchased thousands of macbook pro's and did exactly this. why? who knows!

    I dare say its bootcamp still, you can set the bootcamp partition to be the defualt booting OS. if you hold down the option key when you boot up, it should bring the boot menu up still.
     
  3. simsaladimbamba

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    #3
    As a Mac is a personal computer, it can solely run Windows without the need of any trace of Mac OS X on it, thus there does not exist a need to show the boot selection menu.
    But the boot selection menu is also not shown automatically, only when OPTION is pressed after the startup chime sounds or when it is set with some additional tool.

    Windows can be set to be the OS to boot from, even when Mac OS X is installed.
     
  4. Spink10 macrumors 601

    Spink10

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    #4
    Very strange - schools are known to do funny things.
     
  5. LOLZpersonok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #5
    I should try this and see if anything happens. I did check out the hard drive and it said that it was a 930GB HDD (Which is a formatted 1TB drive) and I don't recall finding anything related to Mac OS X, so seeing the hard drive like that probably means it's not partitioned, but it's worth a check to see if the iMacs will boot into Mac OS X.

    Come to think of it, the school was probably looking for all-in-ones that ran Windows because all of their software is for Windows. They were looking for machines that students probably wouldn't abuse as the cheap Chinese machines we have are missing all kinds of parts and are in absolutely terrible condition. Plus they're using 10+ year old hardware so they aren't too fast either, especially running on Windows 7.

    I also have an idea that they used Windows instead because it's possible to lock the crap out of it. Windows 8 on the Macs at school will NOT boot to the Metro UI but you can still use it, none of the default apps exist and only educational apps exist. You cannot get into the control panel or settings app as it will say you don't have privileges for it. You also can't right-click the task bar or access functions from Ctrl+Alt+Del other than shut down, log off or Change a Password. They also prevent you from changing the wallpaper.

    ----------

    The PowerPC Macs were personal computers but they weren't capable of running Windows without using an emulator overtop Mac OS X. The new Macs can run Windows instead of Mac OS X without emulation is because they're x86/x64.

    Tomorrow, when I go to the library to finish a project, I'll try pressing option while booting the machine up to see if anything interesting happens. They normally shut the Macs off because they're new and can handle loading everything up again. I will post the results tomorrow.

    (I think I was saying Command instead of Option, just for the record!)
     
  6. HenryDJP macrumors 603

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    #6
    Let's just say that's not completely correct. You can't do any firmware updates on a Mac under Windows so OS X needs to be on the machine.
     
  7. simsaladimbamba

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    #7
    What if you want to ignore firmware updates? What if you have Mac OS X installed on an external storage device like a USB 3.0 HDD and boot from that to update the firmware?

    Mac OS X does not need to be installed on the iMac's internal storage device in order to function properly.
     
  8. LOLZpersonok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #8
    So they probably do have Mac OS X on them. As I recall (I could be wrong) the hard drives didn't appear to be partitioned when I looked at then in Windows Explorer. Because these machines are locked down, I wasn't able to turn on the option to view hidden files, folders and drives so I don't know if there was another hard drive inside the machine.

    Is it possible that these machines have second hard drives? These iMacs are extremely new (Like just a couple days old) so they most likely have the latest firmware to them.

    ----------

    I replied to that person before I viewed your response because I missed it. I never thought of that in my response to the other guy. If the iMacs don't have Mac OS X installed on them, your idea is probably what's going on. The iMacs don't have external CD drives with them which is probably for the same reason the PC's CD drives are locked and will not open.
     
  9. HenryDJP macrumors 603

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    #9
    There's no point in removing the native and pre-installed operating system and run it from an external drive. From that point your question doesn't need answer.
     
  10. LOLZpersonok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #10
    I agree with you. I don't understand why they would remove OS X from the hard drive and use an external drive. I can understand installing Windows in this way, however.
     
  11. HenryDJP macrumors 603

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    #11
    It takes more than just a one button removal of OS X. Not many people (even I.T. Professionals that I know of personally) go out of their way to completely remove OS X, there's not much point in doing it with the size of today's storage options. But I agree with your OP, it makes no financial sense for the school to put out so much money on a Mac to run only Windows on it. You may want to ask the school or the library if any Mac apps are used on the system. Even with the better build quality of the iMac the extra money spent on them could be used to replace cheap keyboards and mice on physical Windows machines.
     
  12. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

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  13. simsaladimbamba

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    #13
    But I have seen many posters here and elsewhere, who just did that, remove Mac OS X, but they also did not care about getting firmware updates.

    I agree, from a storage capacity viewpoint it is not necessary to remove Mac OS X nowadays, at least on platter based storage capacity, but then again, the world is full of mysteries and the woman across the courtyard is moaning like a wild beast with lots of stamina, it can go on for dozens of minutes, not like the woman from last week getting her child extracted from her uterus two windows up, that was kinda fast.
    Hmm, it is late and it is still sweeps.
     
  14. LOLZpersonok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #14
    As I said earlier it doesn't make much sense to remove Mac OS X and install Windows instead of just partitioning the hard drive and then installing Windows.

    However, it doesn't seem difficult to remove Mac OS X to me. With a PC, you just insert the Windows installation disk, choose to format the hard drive and there, it's done. I know it's a bit more complicated on a Mac but it can't be much more difficult, right? I'm sure there is software that a Mac can boot to that will wipe the drive. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure Macs can boot to Windows CDs as long as it's Windows 7 and up.

    ----------

    In my city, because it's a Catholic school and of a separate schooling district we're technically neither private or public.
     
  15. HenryDJP macrumors 603

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    #15
    You can't just put the Windows CD into the Mac on an empty drive and install it, just like you can't just put in a Mac OS CD on an empty drive in a Windows PC and simply install it, although there's a way of doing it. It requires the EFI boot loader and that's part of Bootcamp.
    Removing OS X completely requires steps done through Disk Utility, it's not just putting in a Windows disc and installing it over OS X or choosing to delete OS X. That being said I can't see a school's tech department going through the trouble to do so, there would be no benefit, especially if they need servicing from Apple. Apple is not going to service the machine with Windows only on it. Their staff is trained to work on their machines from their OS, especially since their software diagnostic tools are written for OS X only. I will say, stranger things have happened, one being the school buying Macs to run Windows only on them. Ridiculous if you ask me. :)
     
  16. palmharbor macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Does not makes much sense

    Desktop PC's with windows 8 can be bought by schools for less than half of a Mac...this is one of many stupid things that schools do. I was teaching
    in Lake Elsinore and was a subscriber to MAC ADDICT...I left it in the lunch room and went to class. An hour later an aide came into the room and said,
    I am taking over while you go immediately to the Principal.
    I did so and the Principal said "are you an addict?"
     
  17. MinEderPlayz macrumors 6502a

    MinEderPlayz

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    #17
    LOL true story?
     
  18. twoehr macrumors member

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    #18
    I could see an iMac being selected as the hardware platform for Windows in an "open" environment like a school. From a hardware/case perspective it is quite secure and sturdy.

    While I haven't kept current on the PC all-in-one's available over the past year, when I purchased my iMac in summer 2011 I was a Windows person and found all the all-in-one options available to be either poor or of a lessor value than a 27" iMac. I figured worse case if I didn't like OS X I would just install Windows and be a "PC" again.

    The school may have paid more upfront, even if they got a good deal on a Full Windows OS license. I would still argue that those iMacs will last longer than any other all-in-one the school would have purchased otherwise and result in a lower TCO. (They may also have a future migration strategy to OS X that they are planting the seeds for!)
     
  19. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    #19
    I have Windows Server 2008 R2 installed on a Mac Mini at my office with not an indication that OS X was even on it. Windows install USB + Option booted and formatted the entire hard drive from Windows setup and installed Windows.
    Doesn't show any sort of internet recovery options any longer so if I want OS X back on the machine I have to do this with an OS X install USB.
     
  20. LOLZpersonok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #20
    So, I went to the library today and booted up one of the iMacs while holding Option. It booted to the boot selection menu or whatever it's called and it showed a single hard drive icon, no other icons that was labelled with my school's name.

    Choosing that hard drive will boot the machine to Windows, so there's practically no indication of Mac OS X being installed anywhere on these iMacs.

    Why would they do that? They could've bought Dell all-in-one machines running Windows 8, but seeing that it's expensive hardware maybe my school was thinking that the student's wouldn't abuse them...Who knows?
     
  21. simsaladimbamba

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    #21
    Are you in any position to ask them?
     
  22. LOLZpersonok, Sep 10, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013

    LOLZpersonok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #22
    I agree with that. Even though the PC computers have padlocks on them, they're still easier to break into than the iMacs.

    I don't believe that the PC all-in-ones are of lesser value (for the most part) especially the HP Z1 which is a workstation class all-in-one but they still should've gone with a PC rather than buying Macs and then replacing Mac OS X with Windows completely.
     
  23. LOLZpersonok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #23
    I could ask them. I think that's what I'll do.
     
  24. LOLZpersonok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #24
    I asked the librarian today. She says that they got a deal (I can't remember from where, but I know it wasn't from Apple) on the iMacs if they bought them in a lot but since the school needed Windows they got the IT in the school to completely erase the hard drives and prepare the iMacs for Windows 8.
     
  25. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    #25
    Giving this school the benefit of the doubt by assuming they're not insane, chances are that they got a sweet bulk deal on some surplus stock - someone went bankrupt or had a large order cancelled.


    Sure you can. All but the very first Intel macs have included a "BIOS emulator" in their firmware, so they can boot from PC-format CDs and hard drives.

    I've done it many times on my old Mac Pro 1.1, with Windows and Linux: insert regular installer DVD, reboot with "C" held down and install away. Doesn't matter if the HD has OS X on or if it is a brand new blank one: it gets completely re-partitioned during the install.

    The only downside is you may end up with a legacy BIOS/MBR installation and - because the Mac exhausts all the possibilities of booting from EFI first - it can take an age to boot. (If the Library machines in questions take forever to reboot, you have your answer).

    Anyhow, if this school bought a job lot of iMacs then I doubt someone went round with a Windows 8 CD and individually installed it - they'd have copied a standard image onto all of the drives. It might be that there were legal reasons why they couldn't do this with OS X (perhaps the deal didn't include OS X licenses) but in any case, why install OS X if it isn't going to be used - it only causes problems if some joker holds down 'option' and restarts.

    As for the firmware upgrades, PC users wouldn't expect this - over-the-air firmware updates are a luxury that Apple enjoys because they can. You don't upgrade the firmware on a PC motherboard unless you are an obsessive techie or if there is a fault. You certainly don't want users upgrading the firmware themselves.
     

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