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When I was working for a university they bought me a 2017 iMac Pro to use for work from home, which came with some sort of MDM profile linked to the university. When I left several years later, my boss said I could keep the Mac since it was getting old, any new hires would get a new machine anyway.

I used it for a while without changing anything, but the MDM part of the OS was still linked. I understood that it was possible to remove the machine from the network from Apple Business Manager, and this would allow it to be reset, so I asked my old boss. Unfortunately, whoever originally ordered the machine from Apple had left, and they didn't know the info/passwords required. This was hardly a top priority for them so while they said they'd look into it and I chased a couple of times, nothing further happened and I eventually stopped using it.

Today I tried to delete my personal information from the machine so I could get rid of it, but since I don't know the firmware password, I can't even factory reset it. I had a “bright” idea to try to remotely erase the machine using Find My from my phone. I hit erase, the machine restarted, and the firmware password field showed up. I restarted the machine from the power button, and my account is still there. When I logged in it connected to the internet and tried to remote-erase again, but that just went back to the firmware password screen.

Do I have any options now that don't require a firmware password? To be clear I'm not asking to remove the supervision/MDM profiles, I'm asking to remove my personal information, Apple ID, etc. Then I can hand it over to someone from the university, and if someone wants to use it they will have to go dig out that password (or more likely it will end up properly disposed – a shame for a machine which is still plenty powerful, but hard to get people to jump through hoops for ex-property!).

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  • Would love to help them “dispose” of that if in the US. It’s worth money from Apple reuse/recycling partners and I’d pay $$ but I understand staffing makes the time and labor hard to do anything but certify data destruction…
    – bmike
    May 22 at 17:39
  • @bmike sadly I'm in the UK! And yes... to be fair I might not be giving them enough credit and perhaps it'd be put to good use, but most old machines just got put to the back of a shelf until they were well and truly past it, and eventually an office move meant things just got disposed. In any case thanks for the help, think this will mean it can be used by someone. May 24 at 13:27

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Since your iMac Pro has an Intel processor and T2 chip, you want the restore process to erase the data securely.

If you don’t have a USB only cable and Mac that can run Apple configuration, an Apple retail store Genius Bar appointment or friend / other person can supply the second Mac and required cable as needed.

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    Thank you! I'm honestly slightly amazed that in all my searching I never came across Apple Configurator mentioned at all for this sort of thing. It took quite a lot of fiddling to get it to reinstall the firmware successfully after doing the restore, but I now have a clean install. It doesn't seem to have phoned home yet to activate the MDM profile, but I assume that will happen at some point... (regardless I'm not looking to sell this on or anything, I might just give it to an old colleague who still works for the university!). Thanks again. May 24 at 13:22
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    It’s a full time job to keep up with all the comings and goings of multiple platforms. So glad you can rest easy @AndrewChinery - great question
    – bmike
    May 24 at 14:20

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