Why use an MDM

Over the years, there have been methods and solutions for supporting a fleet of devices (specifically Apple macOS and iOS). During the last iterations of the macOS and updates in the hardware, things have gotten easier (and harder).

This week I have been going through JAMF’s 200 level course as a refresher (I was certified back in 2014 — but a lot has changed).

One aspect of training I love (though different right now with things being remote) is hearing from others about their challenges and processes so we can not only learn from materials but also from each other.

I found a method that can streamline the process to prepare laptops for re-deployment. I’m working in a K-12 environment and when students graduate, they have to return their laptops (and we re-deploy to rising 4th graders).

Right now the process was
* Boot the computer into the recovery partition
* Erase the Macintosh HD
* Select the installer and kick off the reinstall (in our case Mojave 10.14)
* Wait about 20 minutes for this to complete and arrive at the setup screen
* Physically clean the machine and update inventory
* Next…

Using a few policies in JAMF Pro, we could cache the installer on a bunch of machines, install the cached package, kick of the erase and install script to do all of this without touching the machines!

‘/Applications/Install macOS Mojave.app/Contents/Resources/startosinstall — agreetolicense — nointeraction — forcequitapps — eraseinstall — newvolumename “Macintosh HD” (note forcequitapps does NOT appear to work in Mojave)

NOTE this WILL erase and install the OS (in this case Mojave) so be very careful to not run on a deployed machine.

I have about 50 machines remaining to reimage and planning on giving this process a go with at least some of them. An update will follow when I get the chance to try this in mass next week.

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